Ubershame is more complicated than I thought

Mulling over the details had left me in absolute shock

pujab

Puja Bhattacharjee | December 8, 2014



I had been racking my brain all day today trying to pinpoint what exactly led to the tragic Uber cab incident in which a professional was raped by the driver of the cab she had hired through the aggregator. I made hectic calls to Meru, Mega and Easy cabs trying to find out, both as a concerned woman passenger and a curious journalist, what their safety policies are. In between I indulged in cursing Uber cabs for being so lackadaisical. But soon my anger and frustration turned towards the Delhi police when news started flashing that in spite of the past criminal record of the accused, they had issued a clean character certificate. A ‘ban the police’ cry ensued. Like so many other men and women, I got carried away by emotion.

As I was discussing the details of the case with friends, it suddenly struck me - the accused had spent seven months in jail for allegedly raping a woman but was later acquitted. In anger I had completely overlooked the fact that Shiv Kumar Yadav was acquitted, not convicted. So I started thinking, can we really blame either Uber or Delhi police for what happened. Uber followed the procedure for police verification and Delhi police issued him a clean character certificate based on record. So apparently nobody was at fault.

All this time I had been trying to find out what loopholes of the law led to this unfortunate incident. In fact Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in his statement has said, “We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs.” In light of the above, this is a very significant remark. The Ambedkar Nagar police station certificate mentions that Shiv Kumar Yadav is not involved in any criminal offence as on the date of the verification. Technically Yadav is an innocent man. My realisation leads me to believe that the entire system has collapsed. The system is very casual and superficial. There ought to have a column to mention whether Yadav was in any way involved in a case earlier along with the outcome. Given the nature of his previous accusation I am sure Uber would have rethought hiring him. Moreover, we do not have any centralised legal database of the convicted to crosscheck information from all over the country.

But this also opens the debate - what about men who had been framed and later acquitted? Why should they be discriminated against? The situation just went from sticky to stickier. Now I am speechless with shock. This is not an average ‘who is to blame’ or ‘what needs to change’ debate. It is a very complicated and complex matter to which I cannot see any immediate solution.

Comments

 

Other News

Food security: Solution lies in traditional food

After spending almost a month among tribals of Mandla in Madhya Pradesh, I can confidently say that by restricting ourselves to Public Distribution System (PDS), we cannot solve the food security issues of the country.   The problem is graver. In a district like Mandla, where aboriginals like Bai

Wholesale price index inflation down

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 2.60% (provisional) for the month of September, 2017 (over September,2016) as compared to 3.24% (provisional) for the previous month and 1.36% during the corresponding month of the previous year, authorities said.

Digital India to provide 20-30% increase in India’s GDP by 2025: Alphons

Digital India program has the potential to provide an incremental 20-30 percent increase in India’s GDP by 2025. Since its launch in July 2015, significant progress has been made in several initiatives under Digital India, said union minister KJ Alphons. Several of the flagship project

Senior railway officer Achal Khare on the bullet train roadmap

Achal Khare, MD, National High Speed Rail Corporation, is a man with big responsibility – of realising India’s dream of running a bullet train. In conversation with Vishwas Dass, Khare lists various challenges before the NHSRCL – the executing agency of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed

Why bullet trains are unsuitable for India

Many will be surprised to know that 80 years ago, trains ran at a faster speed in North America and Western Europe than in India today. On the shorter distances (up to 500 km), daytime inter-city trains achieved average speed of 120 to 130 kmph, and on the longer routes (more than 1,000 km) speed was only

Biting the bullet train

If all goes well, India’s first high-speed train would zip by in  December 2023. In fact, railways minister Piyush Goyal is even confident that the 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail (HSR) project would be completed much before that, by August 2022 – on the country’s 75th indepe



Video

Finally Talwar’s out from Dasna  jail

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter