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

Flying start for UDAN, but there could be rough weather ahead

PM Narendra Modi’s yet another niftily acronymed scheme, UDAN – short for Ude ‘Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’ and otherwise called ‘Regional Connectivity Scheme’ in officialese – got off to a flying start on Thursday. Modi formally launched a flight from Shimla to Delhi, and

It’s very rare to get the right budget to do what producers want: Thota Tharrani

He accompanied his father to film studios in Chennai and helped him in designing sets, but Thota Tharrani wanted to be an artist. So he studied mural painting and print-making, but as luck would have it, he finally returned to tinsel town. And the world soon took note. In Mani Ratnam’s pa

Is the AAP headed for a split?

Is the AAP headed for a split?

Bangladesh to get high-speed diesel from Numaligarh refinery

A sale-purchase agreement was signed between Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for supply of high speed diesel (HSD) through the proposed 131 km Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline.    The agree

Ajay Maken fails to charm Delhi

The dismal performance of the Congress in the Municipal Corporations of Delhi elections forced party chief Ajay Maken to announce his resignation, ending an energetic effort to revive the party in the national capital.   Ajay Maken, now 53, had taken over as the chief

AAP in hot water following MCD poll debacle

The BJP’s clean sweep is not just a referendum on the Arvind Kejriwal government, but also could mark the beginning of the end of one of India’s youngest political parties, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive win in the UP assembly elections, th



Video

फिर शुरू होगी अयोध्या में रामलीला

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter