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Questioned by Delhi Commission for Women, Uber India executives ‘admit to not following basic rules’

Singh had made a statement on Monday saying she would “ensure” that Uber cab service will be banned.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 10, 2014 11:13:56 am
Bhatia-l Uber India general manager Gagan Bhatia meets Delhi Commission for Women chief Barkha Singh on Tuesday. (Source: IE photo by Praveen Khanna)

THE Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has said that Uber “did not bother to follow basic rules set by the government of India” before starting operations here and kept saying they were a US-based company.

DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who summoned the India head and Asia chief of Uber, told Newsline, “They acknowledged there were severe lapses on their part which led to the incident. They were not aware of the rules and when we pointed out the lapses, they pleaded ignorance saying they were a US-based company.”

Gagan Bhatia, general manager for India and Eric Alexander, president of business for Uber Asia, met the DCW chairperson on Tuesday. The Uber officials were also questioned by Delhi Police for the second time on the day. Singh said they “admitted” to not installing GPS on the car but only on phones provided by the company. So the location could be determined only till the phone was switched on and the driver had internet connectivity.

“They also admitted they did not conduct independent verifications on drivers or invest in background checks,” Singh added. She however said that senior officials of the company had assured they will “now abide by all the guidelines and engage with DCW guidelines to improve their services”.

uber-embed2 Gagan Bhatia, general manager for India arrives for the meeting

Later addressing the media after the meeting with DCW, Bhatia said, “We are shocked and sorry at this horrific incident, and cooperating with the investigations… This is an ongoing investigation, so I cannot answer any questions.”

Singh said, “The senior officials of Uber also told us that the money paid by the customer using credit cards were deposited in a bank in America.”

Singh had made a statement on Monday saying she would “ensure” that Uber cab service will be banned. “I still stand by my statement. We believe such a cab service should ideally be banned. How does such a company come to India and set up business operations without adhering to any of our norms?” she asked.

Singh, however, said that company officials had promised to “improve their services” and work with DCW to ensure safety of women. “We also took up the matter of the mobile application system still booking cabs despite the Delhi government ban. They said they will take care of the matter immediately,” Singh said.

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