I booked an Uber cab at 5.18 pm on Tuesday, for a trip from Vasant Vihar to Inderlok—the same route that the 25-year-old girl had used last Friday night before the horrific series of events leading to her rape took place. A minute later, Uber booked me a cab—a Maruti Swift Dzire with a driver named Jitender.
I called the driver to ask if Uber was still functioning. He was surprised. "Of course it's working," he said in Hindi. "Abi toh sab chaalu hai. (All the cabs are available)."
This is more than 24 hours after Uber was banned in Delhi following an order from the city's transport department. In a press statement from the city officials on Monday afternoon, it said that the department "has banned all activities relating to providing any transport service by the www.Uber.com with immediate effect." Additionally, the department has also "blacklisted the company from providing any transport service in the NCT of Delhi in future."
Clearly the message hasn't trickled down. HuffPost India is awaiting a response from Uber officials on why their app is still allowing people to book cabs in Delhi.
I booked three more cabs through Uber—from central Delhi's Ajmeri Gate to the international airport in south-west Delhi; Greater Kailash 2 in south Delhi to Connaught Place; and west Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area to Mayur Vihar in east Delhi.
Each time, I received a confirmation from Uber, along with my cab and driver details.
The transport department officials had called Friday's incident an "unfortunate and heinous crime", cancelling the permit and registration certificate of the taxi, and the driver's license.
They hold that the cab booked through Uber has an "All India Tourist Permit", but is not allowed to provide point-to-point service in Delhi.
"Uber also misled the commuter about the nature of the taxi service offered by the 'Uber App'," the department said in the statement.
On Tuesday afternoon, Delhi Police registered an FIR against Uber for cheating, not following a government order, and criminal intent. Yet, the Uber app is still functional.