Of the 26,000 taxi drivers who were being probed by the Mumbai Police as part of a character verification drive post the Delhi Uber taxi episode, only a mere 836 could manage to get clean character certificates. Further, data of a staggering 20,237 drivers was sent back by the police at the outset due to incomplete information in their records.
In December last year, the police had launched a city-wide exercise to verify the antecedents of all taxi drivers, public and private, plying in the city in light of the alleged rape of a female passenger by an Uber cab driver in Delhi. The police had at the time collected data of a total of 26901 taxi drivers in the city from the Regional Transport Offices and the traffic police, and the Special Branch had initiated inquiries into their antecedents.
“Of the 26,901 drivers that we were looking at, data of 20,237 drivers had to be sent back for correction due to factors like incomplete addresses or names. We then started verifying the antecedents of the remaining 6664 drivers,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni.
As of Thursday, the police had finished verifying the antecedents of 1,300 of the 6,664 remaining drivers, and 836 of them were issued CCCs by the police. The police said that their verification had not thrown up any criminal background or other reasons for suspicion. The remaining 464 drivers were denied CCCs for various reasons, the most prominent reason being wrong addresses.
“We found that 430 of these 464 drivers were not staying at the addresses that they had stated while applying for a permit, while background verification of 33 others threw up reasons to enter adverse remarks in their verification reports, and one driver had died and his status had not been updated,” Kulkarni added.
The verification process includes contacting the concerned police stations where the drivers claim to be staying to cross check the addresses that they have given, and then sending SB personnel to physically verify the address.
Additionally, the SB is also speaking to two people staying in the area to know more about the drivers, as well as checking their names against all police records for any kind of complaint registered against him.