Uber driver gets life sentence for rape in Indian capital

Published: November 3, 2015
Policemen escort driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (3rd R in black jacket) who is accused of a rape outside a court in New Delhi December 8, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

Policemen escort driver Shiv Kumar Yadav (3rd R in black jacket) who is accused of a rape outside a court in New Delhi December 8, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Tuesday jailed a driver of US-based ride-hailing company Uber for life for raping a passenger, in a case that highlighted the dangers faced by women from violent sex attackers.

Driver Shiv Kumar Yadav received the maximum sentence after he was found guilty last month of the rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation of the woman, who had hailed a ride home from a party in Delhi last December.

Yadav got his job with Uber with fake references, enabling him to hide his criminal record. The firm, valued at $50 billion this year, was banned in Delhi as a result and has only recently regained the right to operate after tightening driver checks.

“Keeping in view the facts and evidences in the case, I sentence Shiv Kumar Yadav, to rigorous life imprisonment,” Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja told the court.

The case revived memories of the horrific rape and murder on a moving bus of a young physiotherapist in Delhi in 2012, which became the subject of a BBC documentary that was banned by the Indian government this year.

The authorities fast-tracked Yadav’s trial to meet the public’s demand for swift justice.

“We are happy that justice has been delivered and that the process didn’t take that long,” said Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner with the Delhi police.

Delhi court finds Uber driver guilty of rape

The victim, a woman working for an international consulting firm, fell asleep on the way home. Yadav then drove to a secluded place and raped her.

Yadav’s lawyer, D.K. Mishra, said he would appeal against the sentence in a higher court. “My client is innocent,” he told reporters after the sentence was passed.

The passenger also sued Uber in a US federal court in January, but later withdrew her suit.

Indian authorities face sustained criticism for not doing enough to address a weak system of law enforcement and policing that leaves women vulnerable to sex crimes.

Politicians often blame rape victims for the crime committed against them in comments that reflect entrenched patriarchal attitudes in India.

Indian court expected to sentence Uber rapist on Tuesday

In 2014, 36,735 rapes were committed and nearly 338,000 crimes against women were reported, according to data from India’s National Crime Records Bureau.

After the December incident, Uber introduced safety measures and tightened driver checks. A court recently revoked the ban on the company’s services in Delhi.

Last month, the federal government released guidelines to regulate online taxi companies, saying they should do stringent security checks and not contract anyone convicted of a “cognisable offense” under India’s criminal laws.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • TiffinBox
    Nov 3, 2015 - 8:49PM

    TiffinBox is disappointed. Was hoping for capital punishment. Recommend

  • Akbar
    Nov 3, 2015 - 10:30PM

    It took well over 1&1/2 year and the cop shamefully says it didn`t take long to get a judgement. Shame on the Judicial system.Recommend

  • laaluch Khan
    Nov 4, 2015 - 12:27AM

    Atleast in India the rapist got due punishment. In Pakistan the victims can’t even get an fir on record against the rapists…..Recommend

  • Indian
    Nov 4, 2015 - 12:51AM


    1 and a half year is not lot of time . if you shamefully ignore that it can cost somebodies life. Recommend

  • Nov 4, 2015 - 12:55AM

    Compare this to ZERO rape convictions in Pakistan.


    Great work, Indian Democracy which laid out laws and fast track courts to deal with such ghastly crimes.Recommend

  • TrueIndian
    Nov 4, 2015 - 1:10AM

    @Akbar: I don’t think pakistani’s wouldn’t even consider that as a rape I guess.. forget about the jury etc.. as you know the reasons very well.Recommend

  • stevenson
    Nov 4, 2015 - 1:59AM

    A lot tougher sentences are needed in India if it wants to shake the title of world’s rape capital.Recommend

  • Ali Mohd.
    Nov 4, 2015 - 2:03AM

    atleast in india they get life punishment for rape in pakistan you need 4 eyewitness for rape. Recommend

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