New Delhi, Dec 10:
Delhi Police Wednesday questioned radio taxi company Uber’s Asia-Pacific head Eric Alexander for the second consecutive day in mounting problems for the US-based company that has faced trouble in several countries.
Police also said they have gathered “all necessary evidence” against cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav accused of raping a 25-year-old woman Dec 5 night and were unlikely to seek extension of his custody.
Alexander arrived at the office of deputy commissioner of police, north Delhi, around 6.30 p.m. along with his lawyers and was questioned for one and half hours.
He expressed his sympathy for the victim but did not answer a query about a complaint made to the company against Yadav by a NRI woman about 10 days back. Yadav was among drivers attached to Uber and ferried passengers who availed the company’s services.
In her complaint to Uber, Nidhi Shah had alleged that Yadav kept staring at her through the mirror during the taxi ride on Nov 26.
Alexander told reporters that they were cooperating with the police.
“We are cooperating with police. My deepest sympathy is with the girl. I can’t say anything more than that because it is an ongoing investigation,” he said.
Delhi Police asked Alexander 12 questions including over the safety mechanism of the company, usage of GPS, and background checking of drivers.
Uber has stopped its services after a written notice handed over to them from Delhi government and Delhi Police.
The Uber official gave details of the accused driver to the police.
He also informed the police that Uber has data storage facility at San Francisco and the company will soon provide some other information sought by Delhi Police.
On Tuesday, police had questioned Alexander along with Uber’s Delhi and NCR head Gagan Bhatia for about three hours.
A case of cheating and violating lawful orders had been lodged Tuesday against the cab booking company.
According to police, Uber officials had Tuesday “admitted” to not installing GPS in the car but only on iPhones provided by them — which meant that the location of the cab could only be determined till the time the phone was switched on and the driver had internet connectivity.
“Uber officials also admitted they did not conduct independent verification on drivers or invest in background checks,” the official said.
The first information report, a copy of which is with IANS, said: “It has transpired that there was no verification of driver and no appropriate security features provided by the company as claimed in their App (Uber mobile application), thereby misleading the victim and other commuters resulting in monetary and mental harassment to them.”
The FIR also said that the photograph and driving license of the driver was not displayed on the dashboard of the cab, the driver was not having any public service badge and his criminal record was not verified.
“Besides lack of supervision on the part of the Uber company, there are many more rules which have been flouted by it,” the FIR said.
Yadav, 32, was arrested Sunday evening from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and was sent by a court to three days’ police custody.
Delhi Police officers investigating the case said that the police remand of the accused will end tomorrow (Thursday) and they do not feel the need to extend his remand.
“We have enough evidence against Shiv Kumar Yadav. We will not urge the court to extend his police remand,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma told IANS.
Verma also revealed that the iPhone used by the accused at the time of the crime has been recovered from his home in Mathura. Police received a forensic report Wednesday.
There are other evidences with police which it is not willing to spell out at this stage.