“Unreasonable” Council seeks 30-year old Indian CRB check

An Indian-born taxi driver who has lived in the UK for 32 years and has held a British passport since 1986 has been told he needs a foreign criminal record check before he can operate in part of Nottinghamshire.

Deepak Amar already has a private hire licence from Nottingham City Council but recently applied for both a hackney carriage and a private hire licence from Gedling Borough Council. The 57-year-old submitted documents including a DVLA check and a Criminal Records Bureau check.

But the council said it could not be satisfied he was a “fit and proper person” to hold the licence unless he obtained a criminal background check from India. Amar said: “I am being treated as a criminal. It seems crazy to ask for a reference from 32 years ago.”

The council said it was standard procedure to ask for checks from anybody who has lived abroad for more than six months since the age of 18. Kevin Nealon, the council’s community protection and pollution control manager, said: “I don't think we are being unreasonable.”

Ray Butterworth, secretary of the Association of Nottinghamshire Private Hire Operators and Drivers, said: "We support reasonable requests of background checks where there is a point in going ahead but I don't think there is in this case and I don't think it's reasonable. I've known Deepak for more than ten years. He is a gentleman of the trade, who would go to the end of the earth to help anybody. For him to be treated like this is pretty unsatisfactory.”

Amar, who drives for local from DG Cars, said: “I could obtain the reference, but I am not doing it as a matter of principle. I am no longer interested in getting this licence. I want nothing to do with this council.”

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