Arrested Uber Driver Was Jailed Earlier too in Rape Case: Delhi Police

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Protests against the rape of a woman passenger allegedly by a Uber taxi driver in New Delhi (Agence France-Presse photo)

New Delhi:  A driver with popular taxi service Uber arrested for allegedly raping a woman passenger in Delhi on Friday is a repeat offender. The Delhi Police say he was accused of rape in 2011 but his criminal record went unchecked when he was hired.

The Delhi police say Shiv Kumar Yadav, 32, was imprisoned for seven months in the Tihar jail while being tried for the alleged rape of a 22-year-old employee of a Gurgaon pub, who had hired a cab from outside a mall at around 3.30 am. Shiv Kumar was arrested from his home in Khanpur. He was reportedly let off after a compromise.

How he was hired by the global taxi service without a basic background check is what the police are investigating.

On Friday, Yadav, a father of two, allegedly followed a familiar pattern.

The rape survivor, a 27-year-old finance executive of a Gurgaon-based company, has alleged that she fell asleep in the cab, a Maruti Suzuki Dzire, and woke up to find it parked at a deserted spot and Yadav touching her. The driver then allegedly raped her.

She told the police that the driver dropped her near her home in north Delhi and threatened to shove an iron rod inside her - a chilling reminder of the December 2012 gang-rape of a medical student who was tortured with an iron rod - if she complained.

The only link Uber had with the driver, the police said, was a phone given to him with an app installed. But since he had switched off the phone, it became impossible to track him.

The police say they had to wait for three hours on Saturday at the Uber office to get information on the man. (What it took to find the Uber driver accused of rape)

In a statement on Sunday, Uber said, "This is an abhorrent crime." The company claimed its team had immediately provided "all relevant details."

The police say a case of negligence can be made out - if Uber had followed safeguards, the rape may have been prevented.

Yadav, who had been driving for Uber for six months, did not go through police verification that is mandatory for cab drivers. Also his car did not have a Global Positioning System.

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