Uber regional head quizzed by cops, seeks legal opinion

Uber’s Asia Pacific head Eric Alexander was questioned by Delhi Police on Wednesday. He went to the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Madhur Verma along with Uber’s Delhi General Manager Gagan Bhatia.

After questioning, Eric said Uber is cooperating with police and helping in investigations. “Our deepest sympathy is with the girl,” he added. Eric also informed that Uber has stopped services in the capital after receiving notice from the state government and Delhi Police.

Eric was asked 12 questions on which he sought some time to take legal opinion. Questions were on the company’s safety mechanism, usage of GPS and background check of drivers. Uber did hand over all documents of rape accused Shiv Kumar Yadav.

About the GPS coordinates, Eric told police that data is stored at their headquarters in San Francisco and they will be providing it soon. Police told them about the company’s lapses. “Shiv would have been arrested much earlier if the cab was GPS-enabled and the company had a helpline number,” Verma said.

On Tuesday, police had registered a case against Uber under section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code with Sarai Rohilla police station. The FIR was registered for cheating customers into believing that they will have a ‘safe journey’ despite using unverified drivers.

On Wednesday, police also claimed to have identified the source through which Shiv managed to get a fake character certificate from Delhi Police. Shiv had submitted the certificate with Uber and had also submitted the document with the Delhi government’s Transport Department to avail an All India Tourist Permit for his taxi.

“Shiv had received the forged certificate from a tout, who is not from police or the Transport Department,” Verma added. Police did not reveal the identity of the person as it may hamper the investigation.

“The signature on the certificate is old and someone just copied and pasted the top portion which certifies that Shiv was not involved in any criminal offence with Ambedkar Nagar police station in south east Delhi,” Verma said.

Verma said a letter was also written to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) asking him whether the certificate is forged or not. An Assistant Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) of the district replied that the certificate is forged.

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