Government Asks States to Stop All Web-based Taxi Services

Association of Radio Taxis said that trust and confidence of people in private cabs has eroded after the rape case.

Published: 09th December 2014 08:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2014 08:01 PM   |  A+A-


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (PTI File Photo)


NEW DELHI: Calling the rape of a 27-year-old executive as a "national shame," Government on Tuesday asked all states to stop operations of all web-based taxi services even as it emerged that the accused cabbie was a serial sexual offender and was allegedly involved in two previous rapes in 2011 and 2013.

The anguish over the rape of the woman executive working in a Gurgaon firm reverberated in both Houses of Parliament as Home Minister Rajnath Singh promised to initiate all steps to ensure safety and security of women and children in the country.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised the state governments/UT administrations to ensure that the operations of the web-based taxi services are stopped," Singh said in Rajya Sabha while making it clear that the Government was not in favour of banning taxi services but wanted to regulate them.

As the case brought to light gaps in hiring of drivers by Uber, the US-based car booking service, investigators found alleged involvement of accused Shiv Kumar Yadav in a number of sexual crimes including a rape case last year in Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.

Police said he is a "big time rogue" and was arrested in a number of cases earlier. Yesterday, it had emerged that Yadav was arrested in a rape case in South Delhi's Mehrauli area in 2011 and had even spent seven months in Tihar jail.

"UP police has found that he was involved in at least three more cases in the city including a case of rape and a molestation which were lodged in Mainpuri in UP. He was out on bail," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma.

He said Yadav was arrested for separate cases of molestation in 2003 and under Arms Act in 2006 in Mainpuri, his home town.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi briefed the Home Minister and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval about progress in the case and steps being taken to ensure safety of women in the city.

He said police verification certificate of Yadav was found to be false and it is being probed how he obtained it.

"We are also legally examining what action can be taken against Uber for not fulfilling its promises," Bassi told reporters.

The investigators said they have sought several documents from Uber as an FIR was last night registered against it for cheating customers and violating lawful orders of government, said Verma.

The investigators also questioned Uber's General Manager (Marketing) Gagan Bhatia, who claims to be the in-charge of the company's India operations.

Police said Bhatia told them that there were around 4,000 drivers working with Uber and the company does not know whether they have mandatory public service badge.

Meanwhile, an apex body of radio taxi operators asked the government to take urgent steps to regulate unlicensed app-based cabs to ensure passenger safety in the wake of the rape of a woman allegedly by a driver.

The Association of Radio Taxis said that the trust and confidence of people in private cabs have been eroded following the rape case, and passenger safety and security should be given top priority by all concerned.

Addressing a press conference here, the Association President Kunal Lalani said they are running licensed services, unlike app-based services like Uber.

"An impression is being created that all radio cabs are unsafe. But that is completely false because we are running licensed services in accordance with rules laid down by the state governments," Lalani said.

The Association claimed to represent 13 operators including Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs, Meru Cabs, Tab Cabs which run their services in several cities across the country.


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