The Supreme Court today ordered status quo on the Bombay High Court's order directing Uber India to comply with Motor Vehicle Aggregator (MVA) Guidelines issued by the Centre.

A Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice B R Gavai issued notice to the Centre, Ministry of Road Transport, and others on an appeal filed by Uber India Services Private Ltd against the High Court's order.

"Notice and status quo... You serve on the other side, we will list it after two or three weeks", the Bench said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Uber, submitted that it has serious objections to the validity of the Guidelines.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by Taxi aggregator Uber India against the March 7, 2022 order of the High Court directing cab aggregators to comply with MVA Guidelines 2020.

Observing that app-based taxi firms such as Ola and Uber operating in Maharashtra without valid licenses were an instance of "complete lawlessness," the High Court had directed all such aggregators to apply for valid licenses by March 16 if they wish to continue operations.

The High Court had refrained from prohibiting such cabs from plying in the meanwhile saying it was aware such a move would adversely affect commuters.

The High Court had passed the directions while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Advocate Savina Crasto highlighting the lack of an effective grievance redressal mechanism for customers using the Uber India app.

Crasto had cited an incident from November 2020, when she booked an Uber ride in the city and was dropped off mid-way at a shady dark place" and she found that the firm's app had no effective option to lodge complaints.

Though the Central government had issued the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, meant to regulate such cabs, those in the state were operating based on permits issued to them under Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017.

With PTI inputs