In the wake of sexual assault of a woman by an Uber cab driver in Delhi, the Mumbai police have decided to ask private taxi operators to subject their drivers to police verification and also launched a separate drive to check antecedents of private taxi drivers.
Joint commissioner of Police (Traffic) B K Upadhyay said private cab operators hired as drivers anyone with a driver’s licence. “There is no legal provision on checking the background of the drivers while hiring them,” he said. Upadhyay said many women had expressed concerns through the social media about their security while travelling in a private cab. “Many women have tweeted to us and expressed worries on other social media,” said a traffic police officer. To address these concerns, the traffic police are starting a drive where they will meet private taxi owners over the next few days and ask them to get all their drivers undergo a police verification process. They will also meet fleet owners to discuss their security norms and check if they have installed GPS devices in their vehicles as claimed.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria on Monday instructed all police stations to contact private taxi operators in the city and check antecedents of all the drivers employed with them.
“We will check our records to see if any of them have ever been arrested or convicted for a crime and take appropriate action,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni.
An officer said one of the points under discussion was what action could be taken against drivers or taxi operators in case of non-compliance. “Registering details of all taxi drivers in our records will also send a message to them they are under the scanner, which will act as a deterrent,” said the officer.