India

India Uber driver guilty of rape

Indian police escort Uber taxi driver and accused rapist Shiv Kumar Yadav (C) following his court appearance in New Delhi on December 8, 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (centre) was found guilty of rape, kidnap and criminal intimidation

An Indian court has found an Uber taxi driver guilty of raping a female passenger last year in Delhi.

Shiv Kumar Yadav has also been convicted of criminal intimidation and kidnapping. He had pleaded not guilty.

A 26-year-old woman was taken to a secluded area and raped after booking a journey home with Uber in December.

Delhi later banned Uber and several other web-based taxi firms, accusing them of failing to carry out adequate driver checks.

The company apologised for the incident at the time and acknowledged that it "must do better".

The president of Uber India, Amit Jain, welcomed the verdict.

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Media captionThe court found Shiv Kumar Yadav guilty of raping a female passenger last year in Delhi, as Pratiksha Ghildial reports

"Sexual assault is a terrible crime and we're pleased he has now been brought to justice.

"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."

The woman had also filed a lawsuit against the service in a US court, which was later settled out of court.

The issue of sexual assault has been high on the agenda in India since a 23-year-old student was gang-raped and murdered on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.

The case prompted global outrage and a tightening of laws on sexual violence.

Correspondents say tougher laws have failed to bring down the number of rape cases and a series of high-profile crimes have taken place since then.

Last week there was outrage in the capital after two children were raped on the same day.

A week earlier, a child was raped and slashed with a sharp object, and found unconscious near a railway track.

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