NEW: Uber suspending operations in New Delhi, re-evaluating screening processes
Shiv Kumar Yadav is also facing rape, molestation and firearms charges, police say
He is now in police custody accused of raping a woman in an Uber car in New Delhi
The case has prompted intense scrutiny of Web-based car services in India
The Indian Uber driver accused of raping a passenger in New Delhi is awaiting trial in at least four criminal cases in his home state, a police official said Wednesday.
The cases against Shiv Kumar Yadav in Uttar Pradesh date to 2003, said Superintendent Srikant Singh, a senior police official in the state.
Yadav is currently in police custody in New Delhi, where he is accused of raping a 26-year-old woman who had requested a ride through the car service app last weekend.
Police in New Delhi say Yadav’s address and background weren’t verified in his driver registration. The revelations from Uttar Pradesh police add to concerns about how he was allowed to operate as a driver for Uber.
Yadav was accused of rape last year and later released on bail, Singh said.
He was also arrested on charges of molestation in 2003, of carrying illegal firearms in 2006 and of disorderly and dangerous behavior in 2009, according to Singh.
In New Delhi, he spent seven months in jail in between 2011 and 2012 during a trial on charges of rape of which he was acquitted, said the city’s deputy police commissioner, Madhur Verma.
The accusations of rape in the Uber car has provoked a sharp response from Indian authorities.
New Delhi says it has banned the car service, citing permit violations, and police say they have filed a case against it.
The Indian federal government has advised states to block unlicensed Web-based taxi services.
Uber has condemned the alleged rape and said it is cooperating with Indian law enforcement authorities. The company said that as of Tuesday, it hadn’t been notified of the New Delhi ban and was continuing to operate in the city.
Uber wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday on the disclosures about Yadav’s record in Uttar Pradesh, but on Thursday it released a statement saying it was doing everything in its power “to assist the authorities to help bring the perpetrator to justice.”
The company will suspend its operations in New Delhi, it said, as it re-evaluates its verification processes and begins “re-reviewing rider feedback on every driver partner across India.” It also will address its driver-screening processes and will evaluate options like background checks on all drivers in India, beyond what the law requires.
“We will come back better and stronger for the New Delhi community, ready to serve you again,” Uber said in the statement.
CNN’s Harmeet Shah Singh reported from New Delhi, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.