A court on Monday sent a driver, accused of raping a 25-year-old working woman in Delhi on Friday night, to three-day police custody for interrogation and recovery of a mobile phone.
Shiv Kumar Yadav was arrested on Sunday from his hideout in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura town, about 135 km south of the capital, police said.
KS Ganger, Special Commissioner, Transport, informed that the registration of the vehicle used in the crime and accused driver’s license have been canceled.
In a shocking piece of information which could put the San Francisco-based startup Uber taxi company in a tight spot, it has been revealed that the cabbie had earlier been jailed too in a sexual assault case.
Yadav is a repeat offender, it was revealed during his initial interrogation by the police. He has allegedly told the police that he had spent seven months in Tihar jail in a rape case which was filed against him in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area in 2011.
This highlights the laxity on the part of Uber. Had the US-based company run a background check and got police verification done, the incident could have averted.
Hours after it was revealed that the 32-year-old cabbie, who allegedly raped an executive on Friday night, had earlier been jailed too in a rape case, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday adopted a tough stand.
It asked the Delhi Transport Department how an accused in a rape case be given permit to drive a cab.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi government banned with immediate effect all operations by private cab service Uber in the city in the wake of the alleged rape incident.
An official statement said the Delhi government’s transport department had also blacklisted the company from providing any transport service in the national capital in future. According to reports, the cab service can face countrywide ban.
The Delhi Police today questioned the officials of Uber cab service. Meanwhile, reports say that Uber has shut its office in Gurgaon in the wake of the incident.
In another development, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a statement today, saying: “We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery.”
Amid criticism over Uber’s failure to run a background check on the cabbie, Kalanick further said the company will “work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs”.
The issue was raised by Opposition in Parliament. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in Lok Sabha on the issue, saying a case was registered and following the clue at hand, the culprit driver was zeroed down in Mathura. The accused will be produced before court today, said Singh, adding forensic examination of the car used in the crime will be done.
Earlier in the day, Aam Aadmi Party and National Students Union of India protested outside the residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue. Amid protests, Singh described the incident as “extremely unfortunate and shameful”.
“I believe that there cannot be more unfortunate or shameful incident. We are saddened by incidents like these. Stern steps need to be taken,” he told reporters.
The minister told media that existing laws needed to be implemented more effectively and efforts should be made to bring about a change in perception in the society.
AAP members gathered outside the Home Minister’s residence at around 7:50 am and raised slogans against the government and Delhi Police for not taking proper action against the cab company. “At least 100 protestors have been detained for protesting outside the home minister’s residence and have been taken to the police station,” DCP Vijay Singh told a news agency.
Later, the members of Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) also protested outside Singh’s residence.
Meanwhile, Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi told a news agency that Yadav’s interrogation is on. “We will provide you further details after interrogation is over,” added Bassi.
The 32-year-old driver was taken into custody from his hideout in Mathura, about 135 km south of the capital, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said in Delhi.
Yadav, a resident of Mathura, was caught in a joint operation by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police force.
Yadav was earlier interrogated at the Highway Police Station after he was nabbed from Chandrapuri colony. Police said they have also seized a white car.
The driver, employed with international cab-booking company Uber, is accused of raping the woman who was returning home in north Delhi’s Inderlok area from Gurgaon, where she is employed as an analyst in a finance company in Sector 21 for the past three years.
After the name of Uber came up in the case, the app-based ride-sharing service on Sunday issued a statement, saying it has given police all details of the driver and GPS information.