The Delhi High Court on Wednesday partly allowed the plea of Uber cab rape accused Shiv Kumar Yadav to recall some of the prosecution witnesses, including the victim, for further cross-examination. Justice Sunita Gupta allowed Yadav’s counsel to cross-examine thirteen prosecution witnesses, including the victim, again “in the interest of justice”.
The court’s order came on Yadav’s plea challenging the trial court’s February 18 order denying him permission to recall the witnesses. The driver, who allegedly raped the woman executive, had contended he was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself. Yadav’s counsel said that witnesses were not properly examined by Yadav’s previous lawyer.
Allowing Yadav’s plea partially, Justice Gupta imposed some conditions for cross-examining the witnesses. According to them, the cross-examination would be conducted on a day-to-day basis, Yadav’s counsel would not repeat any question which has already been put to them in their cross-examination, and no adjournment would be sought on any ground in the case.
“Needless to say, it is impressed upon the learned counsel for the petitioner (Yadav) not to repeat any question which has already been put to the witnesses in their cross-ex amination by the earlier counsel,” said the court.
“It is further clarified that in case for any reason any witness is not available for the purpose of further cross-examination, his/her testimony shall be read in evidence as it is. With these directions, the petition stands disposed off. Pending applications, if any, also stand disposed off,” it added.
At present, the trial court is hearing final arguments in the case on a day-to-day basis. The prosecution had on January 31 completed recording of evidence in just 17 days.
According to police, the woman executive was allegedly raped by 32-year-old Yadav on the night of December 5, 2014, in the cab she hired to head back home in north Delhi’s Inderlok area. The accused took the woman to an isolated place with the motive to commit the crime.
The court had January 13 framed charges of rape, causing grievous bodily harm and endangering the life of a woman, kidnapping a woman, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt against Yadav under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. (IANS)