MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) – The recent rape of a woman passenger by an Uber driver in Delhi, India has not only caused the city to ban all app-based taxi services, but also has led to a public debate over the issue of rape in India and the regulation of taxi services.
Delhi police have issued requests for information from Uber and the city’s Commission for Women has summoned Uber’s CEO, according to Indian news website Firstpost.
The accused driver, who was previously arrested numerous times on sexual assault and weapons charges, according to the Hindustan Times, was allowed to work for Uber, which does not conduct background checks on its drivers in India, despite doing so in the United States.
The highly publicized issue of rape in India, which has come to the international spotlight after a female student was fatally gang-raped on a bus in Delhi, which led to mass protests and a national debate on the problem.
The issue has also created public debate in India over the regulation of app-based taxi services, with some media outlets criticizing the decision to ban them in Delhi, and suggesting greater oversight of the industry. Online publication Quartz noted that currently, India’s app-based taxi services have no liability for passenger safety. An online petition was also launched on Change.org, asking Uber to conduct background checks in India, criticizing the company for its “double standards.”
In the company’s marketing materials, Uber tells customers that it employs background checks for its drivers, and uses a female customer’s testimony to illustrate the sense of safety using Uber brings because drivers are accountable for their actions. The company has also faced criticism over its alleged plans to smear journalists who wrote negatively about the company, according to the Guardian, as well as incidents in which Uber drivers attacked female passengers.