Finally, after so much uproar and outrage Delhi High Court takes a note of the case against Uber. The Delhi Police, which has already filed an FIR against Uber charging it with cheating its customers and defying government orders, has been questioning senior Uber officials. Shiv Kumar Yadav, who was driving the Uber cab, had 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.
Delhi (Government) has issued a notification banning the activities of Uber in Delhi. Police verification certificate of rapist Yadav was found to be false. An FIR has been registered against the accused. It’s pathetic that the government is trying to refract the blame entirely onto the private enterprises. Why we elect the government? Just to ban after such incidences? It is a fact that the police had given a character certificate to a man who was involved in rape twice in the past. Then what is the point of police verification? Do they have the mechanism to support verification? Is there any national database of criminals with their bio-metrics information which help them to verify an individual? Implications of a national database go beyond rape cases and will be helpful for terrorist attacks as well. Unfortunately, no one is asking these questions – the simplest thing is to blame Uber and ban the taxi service. Police reforms take effort – which the government just doesn’t want to do.
Delhi Police is examining legal liability of Uber taxi service and probing how the fake police verification certificate was provided to the accused in the rape of a 27-year-old woman in a cab in Delhi. They have over 4,000 drivers from Delhi registered with them, but neither Uber nor Government authorities ever carried out the verification to ensure that even one met all the parameters needed to provide such a service. What is the government, as a regulator, doing? Couldn’t they have been more proactive in conducting random checks once in a while to keep these companies on their toes? Is there a corruption angle to it where they keep filling someone’s coffers to avoid such checks?
If safety is concern, how many vehicles pass the routine checks? If women’s safety is the reason for banning Uber, then at some extent trains, buses and other mode of public transportation have proven fatal for women’s safety. In fact, Uber gives one more layer of safety which has resulted in quick arrest of the driver. The Delhi Police have booked Uber for cheating and not fulfilling its promise of ensuring safety for its customers and violating norms. It is hurting to see how Delhi Police and Government have diverted the attention from the rape to Uber. Among the alleged omissions for which the Delhi Police have blamed both the company and the driver responsible is the absence of a public service vehicle badge.
Among the details sought by the police of the drivers are local and permanent addresses, licence number, places where the driver concerned has stayed in the city and previous criminal records, including the ones in which the individual was convicted, was undertrial and even acquitted. Furthermore, the applicant has to get the recommendation of two individuals who can vouch for him and provide their details along with a complete set of related documents. Instead, what he submitted in a Transport Department office and later to Uber was a character certificate issued by the Delhi Police. The police have already made it clear that the piece of document was a forged one and registered a separate case of forgery against him. Meanwhile, the Delhi Transport Department, clarified that only six cab services were legally allowed to ply in the capital. If there was a rape case registered against the driver then that information should be in some Database and his driving license should have been suspended.
One good thing has happened which is that Delhi, Telangana, Maharashtra and other state governments has started a crackdown on taxi/cab services operating “illegally” in states. Meanwhile, Delhi Police have recovered the iPhone which was provided by Uber to the accused driver. The smartphone was recovered from Mathura by a Delhi Police team which had gone there with the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav in search of the phone. The police have already recovered two of the three phones used by Yadav. More skeletons seem to tumble out of rape accused Shiv Kumar Yadav’s closet. In 2011, this driver spent seven months in a Delhi jail for allegedly raping a woman who worked at a pub in Gurgaon. He was reportedly acquitted in that case. A case of rape against him was also registered last year in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district, but he was granted bail in that case. Yadav was arrested for the third time from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh for raping a 27-year-old business analyst in North Delhi, while dropping her home. Anyway, judicial system take long time to deliver justice. This rapist was a repeated sex offender and alleged in 2-3 previous rape cases but still he was a free man, wow! It’s really easy to get away with crimes in India because of our corrupt system. Now, political parties are trying to cash in the case for its vote bank. What a shameless country we are living in!