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Uber Rape Case: SC summons trial court record

New Delhi, Apr. 8: TheSupreme Court on Wednesday summoned the record of the trial court in the Uber cab rape case, directing the defence counsel to furnish the documents written in vernacular language.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

According to reports, the bench, headed by Justice J S Khehar, has fixed April 22 as the next date of hearing in the case. The apex court further stated that it will lay down a law on whether witnesses can be recalled at the behest of an accused.

Meanwhile in a Petition filed by victim in US for compensation Uber has asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a customer who was allegedly raped in India last year by one of its drivers.

Uber on Monday filed for the dismissal in US federal court, according to Reuters, which obtained a copy of the filing. In the document, San Francisco-based Uber argues that a US-based company cannot be sued in a "dispute involving an alleged wrong committed by one Indian citizen against another Indian citizen, in India,"

Uber's filing comes just months after the 26-year-old Indian woman was allegedly assaulted and raped by an Uber driver in India's capital territory of New Delhi. The driver, Shiv Kumar, was subsequently arrested and is awaiting trial in India. Uber, which expressed outrage at the alleged crime, was soon banned from India for failing to have proper licensing for its drivers. The service has since come back to India's roads after applying to be considered a taxi company under Indian law.

The incident is one of many around the world involving alleged rapes, kidnappings and beatings by Uber drivers. Over the last several months, media outlets have reported dozens of claims of sexual assault, groping, kidnapping, and physical assault. Just days after the woman in New Delhi was allegedly assaulted, an Uber driver in Boston was arraigned on charges of rape, assault to rape, kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery after allegedly attacking a woman in his Uber vehicle.

The woman involved in the New Delhi case sued Uber in January in the US, arguing that the company failed to provide adequate safety protocols. The woman, who was not identified in the lawsuit, has said that Uber should update its security by providing a 24-hour customer support hotline and in-carcameras.

In November, Uber started a safety review to identify new technologies, such as biometrics and voice verification, to enhance driver screenings and background checks. Uber also said it is working to make it easier for riders to communicate with the company and is building "Safety Incident Response teams" to provide support to customers during emergencies.

In December, Uber's head of global safety, Phillip Cardenas, said in a blog post that Uber has "more work to do" in safety, adding that his company "is committed to developing new technology tools that improve safety, strengthen and increase the number of cities and countries where background checks are conducted and improve communication with local officials and law enforcement."

Uber has been adding safety features to its services over the last few months, including integrating a "panic" button into its app in India. Uber also inked a deal with India-based safety-tracking app SafetiPin to improve safety and security across New Delhi. Last month, Uber announced a handful of safety improvements, including the launch of a global Safety Advisory Board and enhanced driver verification.

"We are committed to ensuring Uber is the safest way to get around a city," Cardenas wrote in a blog post last month. "My team and I have conducted an internal global safety review and also worked with outside experts…to identify the best ways to make the platform even safer."

Uber noted that the alleged victim in New Delhi should be allowed to sue her alleged assailant but that the company had no relationship with the woman. She did, however, use the Uber app to hail a car, which is the grounds on which she's suing the company.

 

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