Uber: Police give Asia head 5 days to answer queries

Uber has reportedly sought five days from police to respond to the queries.

Written by Ananya Bhardwaj | New Delhi | Updated: December 11, 2014 4:19 pm
Uber Asia head Eric Alexander (left) with General Manager Gagan Bhatia (right), who claims to be the in-charge of the company's India operations, meets DCW chairperson Bharkha Shukla Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday. The company was banned from operating in the city by Delhi government. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna) Uber Asia head Eric Alexander (left) with General Manager Gagan Bhatia (right), who claims to be the in-charge of the company’s India operations, meets DCW chairperson Bharkha Shukla Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday. The company was banned from operating in the city by Delhi government. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

The Delhi Police on Wednesday evening questioned the Asia Head of Uber, Eric Alexander, for over two hours in connection with a case of cheating and not following government guidelines (under sections 420 and 188 IPC) registered against the company.

Police have given Uber a 12-point questionnaire seeking several details on its safety mechanism and company policy regarding hiring of drivers.

Uber has reportedly sought five days from police to respond to the queries. Alexander has also given police a written statement assuring them of his firm’s full cooperation in the ongoing investigation into the alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman by a Uber cab driver.

“We have asked Uber to provide us full details of the number of trips Shiv Kumar Yadav — the accused in the case — made in a day, his date of joining and who referred him to Uber. We asked them to explain how they claim to be the safest cab service when their drivers do not even have a police verification,” a police officer said.

Questions regarding Uber claims that the company has installed GPS devices in all its vehicles, when practically no Uber vehicle had one, were also asked. “The Uber website claims that it does a background check of its drivers and that all vehicles are GPS-fitted. This is far from the truth,” the officer said.

Police have also asked the company to explain its feedback mechanism. Uber has been asked to furnish all details of past complaints against Yadav and how the firm dealt with those complaints.

When asked about the complaint against the accused by Nidhi Shah on November 27, the Uber official told police that he has no knowledge of it and that he learned about it from media reports.

“No one in the company has a clue about the complaint Nidhi Shah made. This means the feedback mechanism is faulty and the complaints were not taken seriously,” the officer said.

Police also gave Uber a few suggestions that included the opening of a helpline for feedback. “We told them that they should have a number instead of operating only through a phone application. We said they should be accessible to the general public and police, in case of emergencies. Had they been accessible, we could have arrested the accused within hours,” the officer said.

“Uber has promised to take steps to make its operations safe. Their executives noted down our suggestions. We will be calling them for another round of questioning soon,” he said.

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