Update as of 5:30 a.m. EST: Shiv Kumar Yadav, the Uber-affiliated driver who has been accused of raping a 27-year-old woman in New Delhi, India, was ordered by a court to be kept in prison until Dec. 24, local reports said.
The southern Indian state of Karnataka became the latest Indian state to ban the U.S.-based taxi service provider Uber, which has been facing a backlash in the country, after an alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman by Shiv Kumar Yadav, a driver affiliated with the company. The ban in Karnataka follows similar actions taken by the governments in New Delhi, Hyderabad and the state of Maharashtra.
The Karnataka government reportedly said that Uber was banned because it had not registered its service with the state government. The ban is likely to affect the company's services in Bengaluru, Karnataka's capital, from where the Google Inc.-backed firm started its India operations last year. The stringent measures adopted by Indian states follow Tuesday's statement by Home Minister Rajnath Singh who had advised banning unlicensed cab services.
"We're still trying to get the details on what it entails. We respect the government and the regulations but there is a conflict between new-age technology platforms and the regulations governing these, which are old," Allen Penn, head of Uber's Asia-Pacific section, said, according to Business Standard, a local newspaper.
According to local reports, the southern state of Tamil Nadu is also contemplating action against unlicensed cab services.
Uber’s Asia-Pacific head Eric Alexander was also questioned by Delhi police on Wednesday about the security checks that the company employs for its drivers, following the rape allegations against one of its cab drivers.
“We had asked him (Alexander) to submit documents, including details of taxis and drivers working with them, how they checked their antecedents, security measures adopted by them, details of formal/informal complaints filed against their drivers anywhere in India,” Brijender Kumar Yadav, a senior police official said, according to Hindustan Times.
Shailesh Sawlani, a general manager at Uber, was attacked in Mumbai on Wednesday after he left a transport ministry official’s office. He was reportedly asked to submit data on the background verification conducted by the company on drivers affiliated to its cab service.
“When I asked Sawlani to submit data with regard to background verification of drivers, he expressed inability to do so. I told him if Uber cannot abide by the country's law, they should immediately suspend their services,” Mahesh Zagde, a state transport official said, according to Business Standard.
Shiv Kumar Yadav, who has several other criminal charges against him including a 2013 rape case, was arrested Sunday and sent to police custody, and is reportedly scheduled to be presented in court Thursday.