Delhi govt bans Uber, even as CEO pins rape blame on Indian transportation licensing system
Image Reuters | Photo Credit: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

In the wake of the Uber rape case in the national capital, the Delhi Government on Monday has banned the services of the global online car hire service in the region, claiming that the company is misleading customers. What this means is that any taxi offering its services using the Uber brand in Delhi can be fined or impounded, according to a The Economic Times report.

"The services of Uber have been blacklisted. We have just issued an order saying Uber's activities stand banned in Delhi," Satish Mathur, special commissioner of Delhi Transport Department, told the publication, adding that the service is misleading customers by offering them taxis with all-India permits. "In this rape case, the victim was provided an all India permit taxi which is not allowed to ferry customers point to point in the national capital,” Mathur said.

He also pointed out that Uber never applied to Delhi Transport Department for any permission, is not recognised under the Radio Taxi Rules, and has flouted rules. "The rules say that the radio taxi licensee shall be responsible for the quality of drivers, their police verification, employer control and supervision of drivers and  employee behaviour. The employers shall also ensure that the drivers are safe, reliable and trustworthy,” he said.

However, in a classic case of blame game, instead of owning up the blame for hiring drivers without doing background checking, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has shifted the blame on to the government.

“We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programmes,” Kalanick said in a statement on Monday on the alleged rape case in Delhi involving a Uber driver.

“What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific. Our entire team’s hearts go out to the victim of this despicable crime. 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,” Kalanick said.

Interestingly, Kalanick is silent about the firm’s own procedures for checking drivers’ background before bringing in them to its platform.

The driver Shiv Kumar Yadav, who was allegedly involved in the Uber rape case in Delhi, was earlier arrested in another sexual assault case. He was arrested on Sunday after a two-day manhunt by Delhi Police.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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