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Former New Delhi Uber driver convicted of rape

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
October 20, 2015
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A former Uber driver has been found guilty of rape in a case that caused New Delhi to ban the ridesharing service. Shiv Kumar Yadav was convicted of rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation and now faces a maximum life prison term, according to Reuters. The driver somehow slipped past Uber's safety and background driver checks, despite the fact that he was on bail for a separate 2011 assault. Uber India President Amit Jain said that "sexual assault is a terrible crime and we're pleased he has now been brought to justice."

When the ban was enacted, Uber vowed to improve its screening practices and CEO Travis Kalanick said the company would "bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery." However, the victim later sued Uber in a California court, claiming that it "shunned and avoided all contact with (the victim) and her family." She later dropped the case voluntarily, and no additional details were disclosed. After Uber toughened screening, added panic buttons to its cars and applied for a taxi license, its service was reinstated in New Delhi.

The victim sued Uber in a California court, claiming that it "shunned and avoided all contact with (the victim) and her family."

In the US, however, Uber was recently sued by Los Angeles and San Francisco district attorneys, who said Uber's claims of industry-leading screening were "completely worthless," since it fails to fingerprint drivers. It recently updated the claim, saying that traffic checks by airport police in those cities uncovered over 25 Uber drivers with criminal or driving records, including a sex offender and convicted murderer. Uber, meanwhile, said that its checks are more rigorous than with many taxi companies, and added that "no means of transportation can ever be 100 percent safe."

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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