New Delhi: Condemning the rape of a young executive in a cab in the national capital, the Centre on Tuesday asked all states and Union territories to ensure stoppage of web-based taxi services, including Uber.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised the state governments/UT administrations to ensure that the operations of the web-based taxi services are stopped," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a suo motu statement in Rajya Sabha.
Promising to initiate all steps to ensure safety and security of women and children in the country, Singh said the Centre has advised states to prohibit such service providers which are not licensees with them.
He, however, made it clear that the Government was not in favour of banning taxi services but wanted to regulate their operations. "I want to say that our intentions should not be questioned in this regard," he said.
"The government of India strongly condemns this dastardly act. It will be ensured that all necessary steps are taken to bring the offender to justice," he said.
Singh said the Delhi Police is also exploring the issue of possible legal liability of the taxi service Uber in the crime committed and the Transport Department has already banned it.
Terming the incident as a "national shame," he said as a Home Minister, the case has further "pained" him.
He said that the accused, who was earlier was apprehended on charges of rape and was subsequently acquitted after a year, had managed to procure a "fake" character certificate.
On concerns of members that isolated places were hardly manned, the Home Minister said a vigil is being done at 255 sensitive identified locations/roads in the Capital.
"To ensure security in such places I will call a meeting of top officials soon," he said.
Enunciating steps to ensure women's safety in the capital, Singh said, "CCTV cameras have been installed in 200 buses and 3,707 CCTV cameras in public places, while 1,518 more are planned.
"We will ensure that PCR vans initiate actions soon after any complaint," he said, adding that the strength of PCR vans would be raised to 1,000 soon.
Singh said the states have also been advised not to allow operations of taxi services till their proper verification and registration is completed. A proper transparency procedure would also be maintained in the process.
He said till November this year, 25,000 rape cases have been registered across the country.
The conviction rate in Delhi has, however, been higher than the national average at 36 per cent.
He said there is no shortage of law but their proper implementation is the need of the hour if such incidents have to be checked.
As soon as the information of the latest rape incident reached the police, a case was registered on 6 December under various sections of the IPC.
"Immediately police teams were formed to identify and locate the culprit. The woman was sent for medical examination and she was also counselled by an NGO volunteer authorised by Delhi Commission for women," he said.
Singh said that following the clues, the driver was zeroed down as "one person from Mathura, owner of the vehicle Swift Desire no DL -IYD 7910. He has this vehicle registered with Uber cab service.
"The vehicle used in the crime has been found and brought to Delhi where it will be subjected to through forensic examination," he said.
He said the woman reported that while sitting the taxi, she dozed off for a while and then suddenly realised that the taxi was parked at an isolated place and the driver was trying to molest her on the back seat.
She tried to raise an alarm but the driver threatened her of physical injury and then she was sexually assaulted in the car.
After committing the crime, the driver dropped her at her home at around 1 am and threatened her again not to disclose the incident to anyone.
Singh said while Uber had permits across the country, he did not have so in Delhi as it was yet to procure it from MCD.
Updated Date: Dec 09, 2014 18:05:18 IST