Uber Cab Service, also known as Radio Tax Service, headquartered in San Francisco and operates in more than 35 cities worldwide. Recently they had introduced Uber in New Delhi and Bangalore. The concept was that the users will download Uber app from internet and book their travel. Uber will provide each driver a iPhone, thru which it monitors the route of the cab as well as distance that particular cab travelled. Fare will be deducted from users credit card automatically. It became one of the most convenient and affordable way of conveyance for the common people.
Everything was working fine and they attained popularity till 05th Dec, 2014, an Uber cab driver is accused of raping a 25 year old woman. She had boarded the cab on her way back home at night. Finally she lodged a complaint against this man, who was caught by police in Mathura, 161 kms away from the New Delhi. This incident was further investigated, the driver Shiv Kumar Yadav, had a criminal record of sexually assaulting a woman in 2011. He was jailed for seven months and was out on bail.
Following this incident, Uber has come under sharp criticism from the people and government authorities. This has resulted in suspension of Uber Services in the capital. In fact, the matter of sensitiveness has become high and home ministry has asked state governments where Uber is operating to ban the services.
Per Uber, they had conducted valid back ground checks of the driver and they find it satisfactory. However, police department is claiming now that the driver’s character certificate is fake, the certificate was issued with the signature of Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East)in August this year, stating that the driver was not involved in any criminal offence as per records of Ambedkar Nagar police station.
Now the question is that, how the driver produced the certificate from the police and the same was not checked thoroughly by Uber authorities.
Why Government is not joining the taxi services like Uber or Ola to make them safer that use technology to track the movement of its staff. Apart from banning the services, does that mean women are safe in the capital? A reminder to the government is that although there are tougher laws for the rapists after the Nirbhaya rape which occurred two years back.
Is it really safe to travel in the buses in New Delhi? Remember Nirbhaya rape case. The question here is that mindset of the people, until unless you change them. Incidents like this will keep happening and women will be suffering.
Police has to conduct a thorough investigation with the help of taxi Services Company, using their technology to pin down the culprit. Also they should maintain a centralized data base of all the offenders which will be useful in finding out the information about offenders. These in turn will help other state police for speedy exchange of information. Meanwhile for the taxi services company, they have to do adequate checks of drivers. These incidents have occurred in Bangalore few years ending killing of ITES employee. Police adopted a mechanism where they will maintain the fingerprints and other vital information of the culprits.
This has triggered few questions and to be debated:
- Banning Uber services – Does Government shows immaturity and negligence in handling new ideas of formation.
- Without proper investigation does Government pressed a panic button
- Does this send wrong signals to the global startups that are planning to start their services and offerings?
A proper mechanism should be adopted by the Government as per relevant laws and advise the companies who are going to start up their business with correct guidelines.
Even global startups has to have certain degree of responsibility by adhering to the local laws in terms of registration and operations.