New Delhi bans Uber after woman says driver raped her

Uber banned in New Delhi over rape claim
Uber banned in New Delhi over rape claim

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Uber banned in New Delhi over rape claim 01:53

Story highlights

  • Uber says it hasn't been notified of the ban and continues to operate
  • The city's traffic police say they will start implementing the ban on the car service
  • The move follows the alleged rape of a woman by an Uber driver who is now in police custody
  • The suspect in the case appeared in court Monday; Uber has called the incident "abhorrent"
Transport authorities in New Delhi have cracked down on the car service Uber after a woman accused one of its drivers of raping her.
The accused driver arrived at a New Delhi court Monday and was returned into custody for further questioning, police said.
The city's transport department announced Monday it was banning Uber services in the Indian capital, saying its investigation revealed the company was violating permit rules.
"They (Uber services) have been banned for the future," New Delhi's transport authority secretary Ranjana Deswal told CNN.
Deswal said Uber was found to be operating local taxi services in the city, despite only having been granted national permits to ferry passengers between states.
"Their taxis on all-India permit have been ferrying customers point-to-point in Delhi in violation of the rules," she said.
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In an official statement, the transport department said Uber had been "blacklisted" from providing services in the future because of the alleged "horrific crime" and permit violations.
Uber hasn't been officially notified of the ban and continues to operate, Karun Arya, a spokesman for the company, said Tuesday.
New Delhi's traffic police said, though, that they would be putting the ban into effect.
"We received the notification just last evening. It will be implemented," said Muktesh Chander, the city's special traffic commissioner. Any cab violating any permit rule or the ban can be impounded, he told CNN.
Suspect in court
The Uber driver accused of raping his passenger was arrested in Mathura -- about 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of New Delhi -- on Sunday, authorities said.
The suspect, Shiv Kumar Yadav, arrived at a New Delhi court Monday and was placed into police custody for another three days for further questioning, said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police for North Delhi.
Investigators also questioned a senior Uber executive at a New Delhi police station, Verma added.
Verma earlier said that when Yadav had registered as an Uber driver, he used his real name but an incorrect address.
"His address and background (were) unverified. He was not having (the mandatory) security badge which is given after police verification," Verma said. Yadav was acquitted in a previous rape case in 2012, he said.
Uber said in a statement that it "exclusively partners" with registered drivers who have been through the commercial licensing process and who have government identification and state-issued permits.
Police are requesting more information from Uber as they try to determine "what due diligence was taken before using this driver," Verma said.
Alleged assault
The alleged victim is a 26-year-old employee of a finance company in Gurgaon, a New Delhi suburb, he said.
After work Friday, she had dinner at a friend's apartment before ordering an Uber car to take her home, Verma said.
She dozed off in the automobile, she told police, according to Verma. When she woke up, the driver had parked the car on a "deserted stretch," where he assaulted her, Verma said, citing her complaint.
The driver then dropped her off near her home, threatening her with violence if she told anyone what had happened, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament Monday.
The victim called police at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, less than an hour after the attack.
Background checks
Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said his company would work with the local government "to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs."
But Verma disputed that assertion, saying that "background checks are already part of our established practice."
In its statement, Uber called the alleged assault an "abhorrent crime" and said it had given police the driver's name, photo, address and vehicle registration, along with details of the trip during which the assault allegedly occurred.
"Our thoughts remain with the victim who has shown tremendous courage under the circumstances," the company said. "We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation to bring this crime to justice."
National campaigns
The December 2012 gang rape and killing of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi put the spotlight on sexual assaults in the country of 1.25 billion people. Four of the six men involved in the attack were sentenced to death, and their cases are navigating the appeals process.
The crime ignited campaigns to call attention to violent crime targeting women, and since then, rapes have made headlines all over the country, from the districts of Moradabad, Badaun, Bahraich, Kushinagar and Mumbai.
In June, three brothers confessed to raping two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh state. Police said at first that the suspects hanged their victims from a mango tree, but an investigation of their deaths concluded late last month that the girls committed suicide. One of the victim's brothers has said he is skeptical of the investigation's findings.
Last week, video emerged of sisters Aarti and Pooja Kumar punching and thrashing three men with a belt while riding a bus in the northern state of Haryana. The sisters accused the men of harassing them and told CNN affiliate IBN they hoped the video of them fighting back would deter other attacks.
"Parents must teach their sons how to behave with women," Aarti Kumar, 22, told the station.