The Karnataka High Court on Thursday asked the State government to meet taxi aggregators to explore the possibility of reaching a consensus on the fare to be charged for autorickshaw services through their apps. [ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd v. State of Karnataka].Justice MGS Kamal issued the direction on petitions by ANI Technologies (owner of Ola) and Uber challenging an order issued by the State Transport Department effectively banning auto rides through their apps..On October 6, the Transport Department issued a notice to cab aggregators like Ola, Uber and Rapido calling upon them to stop providing autorickshaw services through their apps in light of several complaints by commuters. It referred to complaints alleging that the apps charged ₹100 even for the first two kilometres, as opposed to the government-approved fare of ₹30, calling it an 'illegal practice'.Subsequently, on October 11, it issued an order to the aggregators to stop autorickshaw cabs immediately..The petitioners informed the Court they were given only 3 days for an explanation post the notice which, according to them, was not an adequate or a reasonable period to respond to the issue. On charging fares higher than those approved by the government for autorickshaws, the petitioners contended that they have a right to collect service charges for value-added services to the public as well as operators, and argued that there was no restriction in the rules on fares.They also questioned the claim of the State government that the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators (KODTTA) Rules permits only cars and not autorickshaws through their apps.Stating that KODTTA Rules permitted aggregation of a 'taxi' which was defined to be a 'motor cab' under the rules, they argued that it was no longer res integra that an autorickshaw is a motor cab. .The notice and the order were challenged on the ground that they are vague and do not provide any justifiable reasons for banning the aggregation of autorickshaws on the platform."The Impugned Notice was issued, and the Impugned Order was passed without any consideration or prior stakeholder consultation. It appears that the Impugned Notice and the Impugned Order were issued only subsequent to Respondents being subjected to political and media pressures," the plea by Uber Technologies stated.Further, they stated that although they had applied for license for aggregation of autorickshaw cabs, they apprehended that the authorities might not consider them in a time-bound manner to unlawfully prohibit them from running their businesses..The petitioners, therefore, sought quashing of the notice as well as the order and directions to the respondents to not interfere in their operations with respect to aggregation of autorickshaw cabs..Senior Advocate Aditya Sondhi appeared for ANI Technologies.