Uber Delhi ‘rape’: India court begins driver’s trial

AN Indian driver from the web-based taxi firm Uber has gone on trial in Delhi charged with the rape of a passenger last month.

Shiv Kumar Yadav has also been charged with “criminal intimidation” and kidnapping. He has pleaded not guilty.

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

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

On Tuesday, when Mr Yadav was charged, police said they intended to produce more than 40 prosecution witnesses.

India’s legal system is notoriously slow, and cases can go on for years.

But Mr Yadav faces trial before a fast-track court, established specifically to deal with crimes against women.

The fast-track hearings were introduced after the global outrage over the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.

India also introduced tougher laws on sexual violence, but correspondents say they have failed to act as a deterrent.

Earlier this month, five men were arrested in Calcutta suspected of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a Japanese student.

And in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, two policemen were arrested for allegedly abducting and raping a teenager.

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