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Uber rape case accused a repeat offender, was earlier arrested in a sexual assault case in 2011: sources

Dec 08, 2014 09:14 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Shocking details emerging from the probe reveal that Uber cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav arrested for raping a 25-year-old finance executive in Gurgaon was arrested in 2011 as well on the charges of sexual assault. He had spent seven months in Tihar jail before being acquitted in the case back then.

The startling detail was completely ignored by Uber cab while recruiting him for the job. Yadav had been working with Uber for 6 months. The Delhi Police is looking at the role of the Uber cab service provider which has been sent a notice under section 161 of Indian Penal Code to join the investigation.

After being arrested from Mathura on Sunday, Yadav will be produced in Tees Hazari court in Delhi on Monday. The Delhi Police used 12 teams which were dispatched to Mathura to nab the 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav who was located after a 25-minute chase by tracing his cell number. "We have arrested the accused in the cab case from Mathura and he has been brought to Delhi," DCP North Madhur Verma said.

According to sources in Delhi Police, there are several lapses on Uber's part which probably led to this heinous crime being committed.

Every commercial driver needs to have a commercial badge. However, sources say that Yadav did not have the badge. Uber had not even conducted a background check and verification of the accused driver before recruiting him. It is the responsibility of the cab service provider to get the identity verified through police. The address given by Yadav was not where he used to stay. Even the phone number that he was using was not registered on his name.

There were three drivers who drove the Swift Dzire in which the crime took place. At any given point, Uber didn't know which of the three was driving as there was only one phone with the Uber app. In fact, after the incident, the police had to download the Uber app and order a cab to reach its 3-room office in Gurgaon.

Meanwhile, denying any laxity in services, Uber vowed to fully cooperate with the police in the investigation. "Our team immediately provided the local authorities with all relevant details. Uber exclusively partners with registered for-hire drivers who have undergone the commercial licensing process, hold government issued IDs, state-issued permits, and carry full commercial insurance. Uber also has a GPS trace and record of all trips that occur on the platform. This information has been shared with the authorities. We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials," Uber said in a statement.

The incident took place on Friday night when the woman hired the cab and fell asleep in the vehicle. Later, the driver allegedly took her to a desolate spot and raped her.

After the December 16, 2012 horrific gangrape, several checks and systems were introduced to ensure women's safety. However, the recent incident shows the need for more institutional changes for radio cab services to make the streets of Delhi truly safe for women.