India

India Uber driver given life term for Delhi 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 sentenced an Uber taxi driver to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of raping a female passenger last year in Delhi.

Shiv Kumar Yadav was also convicted of criminal intimidation and kidnapping.

The 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 for many months, 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".

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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

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

Yadav, who was wearing a white checked shirt, wiped away tears as the judge read out his sentence, the longest possible jail term for rape, reported AFP news agency.

"He will serve regressive imprisonment, which shall mean imprisonment till natural death," judge Kaveri Baweja told the court in Delhi.

Yadav's lawyer, DK Mishra, said he would appeal against the sentence in a higher court.

"My client is innocent," he told reporters.

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

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

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