Uber banned in New Delhi after rape claim

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THE CONTROVERSIAL hail-a-ride firm Uber has been banned from operating in the Indian capital after a female passenger accused one of its drivers of rape.

Uber, which had employed the driver even though he had been arrested on allegations of sexual assault three years ago, would be blacklisted from providing any future services in the New Delhi area, the city’s transport department said in a statement.

“Keeping in view the violation and the horrific crime committed by the driver, the transport department has banned all activities relating to providing any transport service by the www.Uber.com,” special commissioner Kuldeep Singh Gangar said.

Uber is barely four years old, but operates in 250 cities across the world and has attracted a valuation of $40bn, according to reports. It launched in Leeds last month.

In a statement, Travis Kalanick, chief executive, said: “What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific.

“Our entire team’s hearts go out to the victim of this despicable crime. 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.

“We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs.

“We will also partner closely with the groups who are leading the way on women’s safety here in New Delhi and around the country and invest in technology advances to help make New Delhi a safer city for women.”

The fast growth of Uber has provoked multiple disputes with taxi firms and regulators around the world.

Uber apologised last month after suggesting that it could dig up dirt on media critics.

A spokesman said the service is “growing very well” in Leeds. It is due to host a launch party in the city this Friday.