Uber To Alleged Rape Victim: "We're Back To Serve You"

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An alleged New Delhi victim of a rape by a driver for ride-hailing service Uber was "very upset" by a mass email from the company declaring that it was "back to serve you," according to the Indian Express. Uber had suspended operations in Delhi in December after the incident, as the BBC reported.

The 25-year-old victim called the email, which was sent to all Uber's customers in the area, an example of "audacity," according to the Express. She is currently suing the company in the U.S. Douglas Wigdor, her American lawyer, said that the woman and her family "are very upset that they were sent an email from Uber, and that Uber has come back to Delhi without a consultation process with them."

"We had made it clear to Uber that the victim wanted to be part of a consultation process regarding safety procedures to ensure that no other person becomes a victim at the hands of an Uber driver. Most unfortunately, this has not happened and we have no confidence that the touted 'India-specific safety measures' will prevent another attack," he explained.

After the incident, Uber said on one of its blogs that it was "sorry and deeply saddened" and that "our hearts go out to the victim of this horrible crime." The company claimed at the time that it would audit and assess its processes, including driver screening and "partner closely with organizations that are championing women's safety here in New Delhi and around the country."

The Indian Express reported that Uber had to suspend operations because the city barred it from service. The company reportedly appealed to a court which refused to lift the ban. Last week, Uber applied for a fresh license not under its own name but that of an Indian subsidiary. After the new license was granted, Uber announced, "We're back to serve you, Delhi."

The Express claimed to have spoken with sources in the transportation department who said that a license application does not guarantee a grant and that the use of a subsidiary might cloud who would technically be responsible for future problems.

Police said at the time of the incident that they were considering charging Uber with a number of criminal violations, according to a New York Times report, including failing to check whether the driver had a police record and not having a satellite location device in the car. "Every violation by Uber will be evaluated and we will go for legal recourse," said the deputy commissioner of police in New Delhi.

At the end of December, changes that Uber said it was pursuing included expanding background screening, verifying documents provided by drivers, and installing "physical GPS devices."
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