uber ban

Newly formed Delhi government's transport department has started consultation with the central government to block the internet address (IP) of taxi hailing app Uber under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act if Uber does not obtain a radio taxi licence to ply its cabs in the national capital, reported Economics Times.

Blocking Uber's IP will mean the company's website and mobile phone application will no longer be accessible in India, effectively shutting down operations in a country which the San Francisco-based startup Uber estimates is its largest market outside the United States.

Additionally, yesterday Uber announced that it is partnering with Safetipin, a smartphone app that attempts to gauge the relative safety of neighborhoods, to help gather data and distribute it to local governments. Earlier, Uber even introduced a panic button aimed at enhancing safety for passengers in India, where the car service has come under increased scrutiny after a driver allegedly raped a female passenger late last year

Uber has operations across 10 cities in India with over 10,000 cabs registered on its platform."We have initiated a process with the central government to block (Uber's) IP address in India if the company doesn't abide by law," said a senior official in the Delhi transport department.

Uber and other taxi app companies were banned from operating in Delhi after the alleged rape of a passenger by a driver on the Uber network in December 2014. Subsequently, the transport department modified radio taxi laws and directed Uber and rivals Ola and Taxiforsure to obtain licences to operate legally in the city. While Ola has obtained a licence, Uber, which terms itself as a technology company and not a transport provider, has been demanding that it be regulated under the Information Technology Act.

Delhi transport department has given Uber time until today (February 25) to submit a revised application for a radio taxi licence.

The court, which is hearing the case of the alleged rape, had raised the issue of banning IP addresses of taxi app companies after the state government complained that the companies continued to ply in the national despite the ban.

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