Free Press Journal

Uber cab rape case: HC refuses to stay trial proceedings


Uber rape, Delhi Victim

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today refused to stay the ongoing proceedings before a trial court here in a rape case in which the Uber Cab driver is facing prosecution for allegedly raping a 25-year-old woman in December last year. Justice Sunita Gupta declined the relief sought by the counsel appearing for 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, the cab driver who has been identified in the trial court by the victim as the one who had raped her.

“Stay on the final arguments cannot be granted. The matter has not been reserved for judgement. If that had been done, I would have understood,” the judge said, adding that, “I am not inclined to stay the proceedings”. The court orally refused to stay the proceedings, after the accused’s counsel requested the bench that till his plea to recall 28 prosecution witnesses to re-examine them is pending before it, the ongoing final arguments be stayed.

During the hearing, advocate Rajesh Mahajan, appearing for the police, also opposed Yadav’s request saying full fleged trial is going on in the case on a day-to-day basis so the matter cannot be stayed during the pendency of the plea. He said that the accused has been fairly represented in the case by the counsel of his choice, so there is no point of an unfair trial.

To this, advocate D K Mishra, who was appearing for Yadav, contended that there were lot of discrepancies in the case which will not come out without cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses. The counsel said that during the cross-examination of the witnesses, crucial aspects in the case have been left out by the advocates, who had earlier represented Yadav.

He said he is challenging the trial court’s February 18 order, rejecting Yadav’s plea for recalling the witnesses. Meanwhile, the trial court could not commence hearing the final arguments of the defence counsel today as the advocate was busy in the high court in this matter. The court fixed has now fixed the case for tomorrow for hearing final arguments.

In the plea before the trial court, Yadav had sought to recall all the 28 prosecution witnesses on the ground that he was not given fair opportunity to defend himself. However, the trial court had dismissed his plea saying there was no change in circumstances except for a change of counsel, which was no ground to allow the application.

Mishra submitted that entire cross-examination of all the prosecution witnesses conducted by the earlier counsel was “prejudicial to the interest of the accused. He said that it is the duty of the prosecution to bring correct facts before the court but in this case they have twisted the facts in such a manner that the accused before conclusion of the trial “gets convicted”. The arguments, which remained inconclusive, will continue tomorrow.

As per the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police, the incident took place on the night of December 5 last year when the 25-year-old victim, who was working for a finance company in Gurgaon, was headed back home. She had boarded the taxi from Vasant Vihar to go to her house in Inderlok and the accused after diverting the route, raped her, police said.

Yadav was arrested on December 7 from Mathura in a joint operation by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police.

The trial in the case had commenced on January 15 and the prosecution had concluded recording its evidence in 17 days by examining 28 witnesses. The accused had not examined any witness in his defence.

The trial court had also recorded the testimony of the accused in which he termed the charge against him as “false”. The court on January 13 had framed charges against Yadav under various sections of the IPC for alleged offences of endangering a woman’s life while raping her, kidnapping with an intent to compel her for marriage, criminally intimidating and causing hurt.