Delhi city government bans Uber after alleged rape

The Delhi city government said Monday it has banned Uber after a passenger accused one of the online taxi service's drivers of raping her. -- PHOTO: AFP
The Delhi city government said Monday it has banned Uber after a passenger accused one of the online taxi service's drivers of raping her. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - The Delhi city government said Monday it has banned Uber after a passenger accused one of the online taxi service's drivers of raping her.

"(The) Transport Department has banned all activities relating to providing any transport service by the www.Uber.com with immediate effect," the government of the Indian capital said in a statement.

Friday’s alleged attack on the woman has dealt a major blow to the reputation of the company, which claims to put passengers’ safety first. Local media reports say it failed to do a background check on the driver, who faced a separate rape allegation in 2011 and was acquitted the following year.

The 32-year-old man will appear in court on Monday after police tracked him down and arrested him on Sunday in his native Uttar Pradesh state, where he had fled.

Special commissioner Deepak Mishra, said Sunday that early investigations showed GPS had not been installed in the taxi and police background checks were not conducted on the driver.

However Uber said it had complied with city regulations. Background checks are “currently absent in (Delhi’s) commercial transportation licensing programmes,” chief executive Travis Kalanick said in a statement. “What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific. Our entire team’s hearts go out to the victim of this despicable crime,” the statement added.