An Uber driver in India has been found guilty of kidnapping and raping a female passenger in Delhi last year. The driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, is expected to be sentenced on Friday, and faces life in prison. As the Associated Press reports, prosecutors say they will push for the maximum sentence.
Yadav was arrested in December 2014, after a 26-year-old woman said he raped her on her ride home. The incident led to a temporary ban against the taxi-hailing company in Delhi, and sparked protests calling for stronger protection for victims of sexual violence. Uber also came under fire for the background checks it conducts on its drivers, after it was reported that Yadav previously faced rape charges in 2011. (The charges were ultimately dropped.)
Authorities are still investigating Uber for criminal negligence
The victim in the Delhi case later filed charges against Uber in a US court, alleging that the company was negligent in its background checks, and the case was eventually settled out of court. New Delhi police official Brijendra Kumar Yadav tells the Associated Press that authorities are currently investigating Uber for possible criminal negligence.
Uber, which announced a $1 billion investment in India over the summer, implemented new measures to enhance passenger safety following the incident. The company introduced an SOS button in February, which allows users to quickly contact local authorities in case of emergency, and vowed to improve its screening process. The company reiterated its commitment to safety following today's verdict.
"Sexual assault is a terrible crime and we're pleased he has now been brought to justice," Amit Jain, president of Uber India, said in an email statement. "Safety is a priority for Uber and we've made many improvements — in terms of new technology, enhanced background checks and better 24/7 customer support — as a result of the lessons we learned from this awful case. That said Uber can always do better, which is why are continually looking for ways to improve safety before, during and after the ride."