Uber cabs rape case: Govt cracks down, bans Delhi operations; India blow looms

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New Delhi | Updated: December 8, 2014 9:41:44 PM

Within days of rape case in an Uber cab in Delhi, government not only bans ops, it also blacklists company.

Uber cabs driver, 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, center, is surrounded by police in a court in New Delhi. (AP)Uber cabs driver, 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, center, is surrounded by police in a court in New Delhi. (AP)

International cab-booking service Uber was banned today in the national capital, a day after one of its drivers was arrested for allegedly raping a 27-year-old woman executive amid growing outrage over the incident which renewed focus on safety measures for women.

The Delhi government also blacklisted Uber from providing any transport service in the capital as it emerged that the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav was a repeat offender who had spent seven months in jail in a rape case earlier.

As per norms, it is mandatory for all private cab service providers to carry out a background check and obtain police verification of the drivers.

A view of Ridge road alongside a nallah, where the Uber cab driver allegedly raped his passenger, in Sarai Rohilla, Delhi. (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)A view of Ridge road alongside a nallah, where the Uber cab driver allegedly raped his passenger, in Sarai Rohilla, Delhi. (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

32-year-old Yadav was today remanded in police custody for three days by a Delhi court. He will be in police custody till December 11. Police said Yadav, who was arrested in Mathura on Sunday, needs to be interrogated for recovery of a mobile phone used by him.

Yadav, who was driving the uber cab, allegedly raped the woman on Friday night when the victim, who works for a finance company in Gurgaon, was headed back to her home in north Delhi’s Inderlok area.

“The transport department has banned all activities related to providing of any transport service by www.uber.com with immediate effect. The department has also blacklisted the company from providing any transport service in the NCT of Delhi in future,” the Delhi government said in a statement.

The police said that during investigations prime facie it has emerged that criminal negligence was made out on the part of Uber as a number of alleged shortcomings were found on their part as neither the driver was verified nor there was a GPS tracking device in the car.

Meanwhile, the city witnessed protests at various places including outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence. Holding placards and chanting anti-government slogans, the protesters demanded better security for women and punishment for the driver.

Delhi Police said it may file an FIR against Uber as investigations so far have indicated “criminal negligence” and “abetment” to the crime on part of the company whose General Manager was grilled by the police today.

Uber’s General Manager (Marketing) Gagan Bhatia who claims to be the in-charge of the company’s India operations, during his daylong questioning has not been able to provide much information to the police regarding the company’s operations and its policies.

“We are seeing whether a separate FIR has to be filed or it would be merged in the same FIR and under what sections we have to file it,” said a senior police official.

The shocking incident, which took place days ahead of the second anniversary of the December 16 gangrape, has brought back memories of the horrific crime.

“It has been six months since this government came to power but nothing has changed. They used to blame the Centre when UPA was in power and they are now themselves skirting responsibility,” said an Aam Aadmi Party worker who protested outside the Home Minister’s residence.

A group of AAP workers also staged a protest outside Lt Governor’s office.

AAP vowed to raise the issue in Parliament and asked as to what steps the Government had taken to ensure security of women. “AAP will raise the Uber rape issue in Parliament also,” tweeted AAP leader Ashutosh.

A group of NSUI workers also staged a demonstration outside the Home Minister’s residence demanding strict punishment for the driver.

They also attacked the government saying nothing has happened “on ground” regarding women safety, as promised by the BJP during the election campaign.

Congress MP Kumari Selja said the laws exist, but it is the duty of the government to enforce them.

“He (the driver) has a history of crime. This also shows that our law has some anomalies which is why such people commit crime even after being jailed.

“It is important to enforce the law properly. I don’t think under the new government anything has been happening on the ground (on women safety),” Selja said outside Parliament.
Union Minister Uma Bharti said it was important to change the attitude of the society towards women.

“Even after the Nirbhaya case, if such cases continue to happen then this shows that a speedy trial is required because Nirbhaya case took a long time to reach its end. Second, people should come out in support of women in such cases.

Centre mulls banning cab services of Uber across India

In more bad news for Uber cabs in, the Centre is contemplating to ban its services across India.

The Home Ministry is planning to ask all state governments and administration of nine union territories, where Uber runs its cab services, to put a ban on it, official sources said today.

Uber cab services are available in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Pune.

The central government is also likely to ask all state governments and UT administrations to find out whether similar app-based taxi service is running in their jurisdiction contrary to the existing rules and regulations, the sources said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to make a statement to this effect in Rajya Sabha tomorrow where he may mention about the steps to be taken for regulating the app- based cab services.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has posed to Delhi government eight questions related to Uber cab service and asked for its reply as early as possible.

The questions include details about Uber’s operations in the national capital, its commercial all India permit and how come this company is using or “misusing” that permit, how come a rape accused got driving licence and how many such services are operating in Delhi.

Uber was banned today in Delhi after one of its drivers allegedly raped a 27-year-old woman executive on Friday night.

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