Uber sends e-mail promoting Delhi return to woman allegedly raped by one of its drivers

The Delhi city government banned Uber last month after a female passenger said she was raped, accusing the web-based firm of failing to perform adequate background checks on its drivers. -- PHOTO: AFP
The Delhi city government banned Uber last month after a female passenger said she was raped, accusing the web-based firm of failing to perform adequate background checks on its drivers. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Uber sent an e-mail message promoting its return to New Delhi to a woman allegedly raped by one of its drivers, her lawyer has revealed, saying he had "no confidence" in the company's new safety measures.

The Delhi city government banned Uber last month after a female passenger said she was raped, accusing the web-based firm of failing to perform adequate background checks on its drivers. On Friday, Uber said it had applied for a licence to resume operations in the city and was now only using "driver-partners who have undergone re-verification of their police clearance in the last six weeks".

Lawyer Douglas Wigdor criticised the company's "audacity" in including his client among former customers who were sent an e-mail saying: "We're back, to serve you."

He said he had made it clear the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, "wanted to be part of a consultation process regarding safety procedures to ensure that no other person becomes a victim". "Most unfortunately, this has not happened and we have no confidence that the touted 'India-specific safety measures' will prevent another attack," Mr Wigdor said in a statement emailed to AFP late on Friday.

The driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, has pleaded not guilty.

The case once again raised the issue of women's safety in India and particularly in Delhi, which has been dubbed the "rape capital" after a string of high-profile assaults.

The fatal gang-rape of a medical student on a bus in Delhi triggered mass protests in December 2012, prompting India to tighten its laws on sex crimes.