NEW DELHI: US-based cab service provider Uber has landed in another controversy with one of its drivers being accused of molesting a female passenger during a ride to Gurgaon.
The victim registered her complaint over phone to an Uber representative following the incident yesterday wherein the cab driver identified as Vinod allegedly forced himself upon her, "trying to kiss and molest her". In response to her complaint, the Uber representative said, "We have a zero tolerance policy for this behaviour and I assure you that our team is following up with Vinod (cab driver) appropriately and immediately."
An FIR has been lodged by Gurgaon police in the case under section 354 A (molestation) of IPC against the cab driver, Gurgaon Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said, adding that the accused has been identified, but is yet to be arrested. Police had received a mail regarding the incident and immediately lodged the FIR, he said.
Police also requested Uber to provide them with relevant information on the issue which has been supplied, he said. In reply to the charge, Uber said, "Our team immediately reached out to the rider (victim) via phone within minutes of receiving the feedback. Multiple members of the Uber team have spoken with the driver to ascertain the sequence of events."
The official Uber response also claimed that "immediate action has already been taken with the driver partner even while the matter is being thoroughly investigated." It further said that in order to "protect" privacies of the parties involved, Uber will handle this matter "directly" with the "concerned parties".
Uber Delhi General Manager Gagan Bhatia claimed that the driver partner has a valid PSV badge and commercial licence issued by the Delhi authority. Uber recently announced the appointment of IIT graduate Amit Jain as President of its India Operations.
The cab service provider is presently banned in the national capital following rape of a 27-year-old financial consultant allegedly by a cab driver working in partnership with it, in December last year. Terming it as a "worrisome" situation, Association of Radio Taxi India called for immediate action in this regard. "It is indeed a very worrisome situation for Taxi industry. Despite the ban in Delhi these services are growing," said Kunal Lalani, President of Association of Radio Taxi India and Chairman, Mega cabs.
"The situation needs to be addressed immediately before something more heinous happens. Though we need Ola and Uber but not at the cost of such mishaps," he added.