Indian court charges Uber driver with rape, kidnapping

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A New Delhi court charged an Uber cab driver on Tuesday with rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation in a case that has renewed a national fury over chronic sexual violence in India. Authorities are still investigating whether Uber should also be charged.

Judge Kaveri Baweja ordered the case to begin Thursday in a special fast-track court set up in 2013 to bypass India's lumbering judicial system.

The 32-year-old suspect, Shiv Kumar Yadav, entered a plea of innocence. He has been in custody since a 25-year-old woman filed a police complaint alleging he assaulted her after she hired him for a ride home on Dec. 5.

Authorities, meanwhile, were still investigating the possibility of criminal charges against the company for allegedly misrepresenting the safety of its service, police official Brijendra Kumar Yadav said.

"That is a separate case, and will take some time," he said, without giving details.

The case has appalled many in India, occurring almost exactly two years after a young woman was fatally gang raped on a bus in the capital. It has sparked new demands for better protections for women.

It also dealt a blow to Uber, which has attracted global praise and controversy with a service that lets passengers summon cars through an app in more than 250 cities around the world.

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