Delhi Police on Wednesday recovered the iPhone which was provided by Uber to the cab driver accused of raping a 25-year-old finance company executive last Friday inside the cab.
The accused driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, had allegedly raped the woman on Friday night when the victim was headed back home in north Delhi's Inderlok area.
The smartphone was recovered from Mathura after Yadav was questioned. Police have already recovered two of the three phones used by Yadav.
Uber provides its cab drivers an iPhone with the Uber app. Customers book a cab through the company's App. The system then sends a message to the driver of a cab nearest to the customer and when he accepts the 'assignment', his name, photo and other details of the cab, like its registration number, is sent to the customer through the app.
"The phone is an important evidence for us. It will prove that Yadav works for Uber which will help us prove the culpability of the cab service. It will also prove that Yadav was driving the cab which the victim has booked," said a senior police official.
Its GPS signature will help corroborate the route from where she was picked, the course the cab took to reach the spot where the crime took place and the time he dropped the victim near her home, he added.
The accused driver had dropped a message in the company's system that the customer has been dropped and then exited the app. He had then fled to Mathura.
Uber cab driver's mother wants punishment for her son's crime
Uber execs questioned
Meanwhile, Eric Alexander, Uber's Asia-Pacific head, was called in for questioning by Delhi Police for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.
He was issued a notice by the police under Section 91 of the CrPC to provide certain documents of the company and he joined the investigation on Tuesday.
"We have asked him to submit documents under eight pointers which include details of all the taxis and its drivers working with them and how they checked their antecedents as well as the details of the directors of the company," a senior police official said.
Delhi Police has been questioning senior Uber officials for the last three days.
Alexander, along with other senior Uber executives, also visited the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) office Tuesday after being summoned by it.
Delhi Police has already filed an FIR against Uber, charging it with cheating its customers and defying government orders. The company was also banned from operating in Delhi on Monday followed by Hyderabad on Tuesday.
In an interview to HT, Uber's Head of Asia operations Allen Penn said that Uber's image was their last concern.
"We want to see that justice is done," said Penn.
He also apologised to Uber users and said that safety was the cab service's number one priority. He also pledged support to the survivor's family.
"It is a terrible crime that has happened and we are deeply sorry for her what has happened to her."
Telangana, Andhra ban Uber as well
Authorities in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh too banned Uber. The transport departments in both the states said Uber has no permission to operate and advised people to refrain from hiring the app-based cab service.
In Hyderabad and neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, special teams of Road Transport Authority (RTA) and police Wednesday launched a crackdown on Uber and other service operating illegally.
The officials seized several cabs in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates for unauthorised operations.