New Delhi/Mathura: Delhi Police is ready to make a water-tight charge sheet in the case of rape of a 25-year-old financial analyst, and is likely to file it within three weeks, a police official said Monday.
The accused Shiv Kumar Yadav (32), who was arrested on Sunday from his hideout in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura, was sent by Metropolitan Magistrate Ambika Singh in police custody till December 11 after the police said he was required to be interrogated for recovery of a mobile phone used by him.
Yadav refused to undergo Test Identification Parade (TIP), a process under the criminal law through which a victim identifies an accused.
Delhi Police is considering filing an FIR against Uber under CrPc section 188 as charges of "criminal negligence" and "abetment" to crime have been made out against the US-based cab company.
Uber's General Manager (Marketing) Gagan Bhatia, who claims to be the in-charge of the company's India operations, during his day-long questioning has not been able to provide much information to the police regarding the company's operations and its policies.
Delhi Commissioner of Police BS Bassi informed that the identification certificate provided by the accused driver appears faked as the officer whose name was signed on the document wasn't holding the post then. A case of forgery was registered against the rapist driver.
S Ganger, Special Commissioner, Transport, informed that the registration of the vehicle used in the crime and accused driver's license have been canceled.
In a shocking piece of information which could put the San Francisco-based startup Uber taxi company in a tight spot, it has been revealed that the cabbie had earlier been jailed too in a sexual assault case.
Yadav is a repeat offender, it was revealed during his initial interrogation by the police. He has allegedly told the police that he had spent seven months in Tihar jail in a rape case which was filed against him in south Delhi's Mehrauli area in 2011.
This highlights the laxity on the part of Uber. Had the US-based company run a background check and got police verification done, the incident could have averted.
Hours after it was revealed that the 32-year-old cabbie, who allegedly raped an executive on Friday night, had earlier been jailed too in a rape case, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday adopted a tough stand.
It asked the Delhi Transport Department how an accused in a rape case be given permit to drive a cab.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi government banned with immediate effect all operations by private cab service Uber in the city in the wake of the alleged rape incident.
An official statement said the Delhi government's transport department had also blacklisted the company from providing any transport service in the national capital in future. According to reports, the cab service can face countrywide ban.
Also Read: Uber taxi company banned in Delhi
Barring Easy Cab, Meru Cab, Mega Cab, Chanson Cab, Yo Cab and Air Cab, the transport department also banned all other radio taxi service providers who book through web-based technology.
The other radio taxi operators will need a licence from the transport department to ply in the National Capital Region (NCR), the statement said.
The Delhi Police today questioned the officials of Uber cab service. Meanwhile, reports say that Uber has shut its office in Gurgaon in the wake of the incident.
In another development, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick issued a statement today, saying: "We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice and to support the victim and her family in her recovery."
Amid criticism over Uber's failure to run a background check on the cabbie, Kalanick further said the company will "work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs".
Read Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's full statement here
The issue was raised by Opposition in Parliament. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in Lok Sabha on the issue, saying a case was registered and following the clue at hand, the culprit driver was zeroed down in Mathura. The accused will be produced before court today, said Singh, adding forensic examination of the car used in the crime will be done.
Earlier in the day, Aam Aadmi Party and National Students Union of India protested outside the residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the issue. Amid protests, Singh described the incident as “extremely unfortunate and shameful”.
"I believe that there cannot be more unfortunate or shameful incident. We are saddened by incidents like these. Stern steps need to be taken," he told reporters.
The minister told media that existing laws needed to be implemented more effectively and efforts should be made to bring about a change in perception in the society.
AAP members gathered outside the Home Minister's residence at around 7:50 am and raised slogans against the government and Delhi Police for not taking proper action against the cab company. "At least 100 protestors have been detained for protesting outside the home minister's residence and have been taken to the police station," DCP Vijay Singh told a news agency.
Later, the members of Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) also protested outside Singh's residence.
Meanwhile, Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi told a news agency that Yadav's interrogation is on. “We will provide you further details after interrogation is over,” added Bassi.
The 32-year-old driver was taken into custody from his hideout in Mathura, about 135 km south of the capital, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told a news agency in Delhi.
Yadav, a resident of Mathura, was caught in a joint operation by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police force.
Yadav was earlier interrogated at the Highway Police Station after he was nabbed from Chandrapuri colony. Police said they have also seized a white car.
The driver, employed with international cab-booking company Uber, is accused of raping the woman who was returning home in north Delhi's Inderlok area from Gurgaon, where she is employed as an analyst in a finance company in Sector 21 for the past three years.
After the name of Uber came up in the case, the app-based ride-sharing service on Sunday issued a statement, saying it has given police all details of the driver and GPS information.
"Our thoughts are with the victim of this terrible crime and we are working with police as they investigate. We will assist them in any way we can. It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver's account following allegations of a serious incident, which we have done," Uber spokeswoman Evelyn Tay said in a statement.
"Safety is Uber's highest priority, and in India, we work with licensed driver-partners to provide a safe transportation option, with layers of safeguards such as driver and vehicle information, and ETA-sharing to ensure there is accountability and traceability of all trips that occur on the Uber platform," the spokeswoman said.
However, Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma said: "The driver of the cab, booked through Uber, had not been subjected to a police verification. The company, which did not get his background check done, was asked to join the investigation on Sunday."
He said the cab also did not have the mandatory GPS.
Police said they traced the driver's cellphone number, and it was registered in the name of a person called Gaurav.
The driver also did not have a driving licence issued by the Delhi Transport Authority, which is recommended for those engaged in driving cabs in the capital.
Earlier on Sunday, the Delhi Police had declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information on the driver, a resident of Mathura, despite constituting 12 separate teams of Crime Branch and district police to arrest him following the rape.
In her police complaint, the woman said she finished her day-long shift at around 7 pm on Friday and went to a hotel in Gurgaon for dinner with her friends.
The woman was later dropped in Vasant Vihar area by her friends from where she hired a private cab at around 9.30 pm, police said quoting from the complaint.
While on my way home, I fell asleep on the back seat of the cab. A few minutes later, I realised that the car was stopped at a secluded place and the driver was molesting me," the woman said in her complaint.
She said the driver slapped her many times when she objected to his molestation attempt.
"I tried to unlock the cab door but failed. The driver threatened to kill me and raped me," the woman said.
Police said the driver later dropped the woman near her home and once again threatened her with dire consequences if she approached police.
Police said the woman made a call to the police control room at around 1.30 am on Saturday and informed officials about her ordeal.
She also provided police a picture of the car's number plate with the number DL 1YD 7910. The car, a Maruti Swift Dzire, was recovered from Mathura on Saturday night.
A formal complaint was registered by the woman at Sarai Rohilla police station in Delhi.
(With Agency inputs)