New Delhi: A Delhi court today refused to stay proceedings in the Uber cab rape case till pronouncement of order by Delhi High Court on the accused driver’s plea for recall of witnesses. Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja went ahead with the proceedings saying that any adjournment would be granted only if there is an order from the high court, which is likely to pronounce its verdict on March 4 on Shiv Kumar Yadav’s plea for recall of prosecution witnesses.
Counsel for accused, D K Mishra, who commenced his final arguments today, also told the court that the police had failed to charge Yadav for the offence under section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC. To this, Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, representing the police, said that section 377, which involves carnal intercourse, is covered under the definition of rape (section 375 of IPC) for which the accused had been already charge sheeted under section 376 of the IPC.
Prosecution had earlier concluded its final arguments in the case saying medical and forensic evidence corroborated the 25-year-old victim’s testimony that she was raped by 32-year-old Yadav, who had also tried to force her into unnatural sex. It had said that there was ample evidence to show that the woman was not a consenting party to the sexual acts of Yadav as several injuries were found on her body.
The court on January 13 had framed charges against Yadav under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for alleged offences of endangering a woman’s life while raping her, abducting with an intent to compel her for marriage, criminally intimidating and causing hurt.
If convicted in the case, Yadav faces a maximum of life imprisonment as punishment. The trial in the case had commenced on January 15 and the prosecution concluded recording its evidence in 17 days by examining 28 witnesses. The accused had not examined any witness in his defence.
During recording of her statement in the court, the victim had identified Yadav as the one who had raped her. The court had also recorded the testimony of the accused in which he termed the charge against him as “false”.
According to the charge sheet filed by Delhi Police, the incident took place on the night of December 5 last year when the victim, who was working for a finance company in Gurgaon, was heading back home. She had taken the taxi from Vasant Vihar to go to her house in Inderlok and the accused after taking another route, raped her. Yadav was arrested on December 7 from Mathura in a joint operation by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police.