New Delhi — The Supreme Court today set aside the Delhi High Court order allowing the accused to recall and re-examine 13 prosecution witnesses, including the victim, in the Uber cab rape case.
"The appeals are allowed," a bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and Adarsh Kumar Goel said on the plea of the alleged victim and Delhi Police against the High Court order.
The High Court had allowed recall of 13 prosecution witnesses, including the victim in the case, on the plea of accused cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav and said their cross- examination will be carried out on a day-to-day basis.
The Supreme Court had on March 10 stayed the High Court order on the victim's plea contending that it amounted to re-trial of the case. It had also restrained media from reporting statements of witnesses which were recorded after the High Court's order.
While reserving its verdict on the pleas of the victim and Delhi police, the apex court had on August 13 observed that the accused driver was trying to "destroy criminal justice system" by seeking re-examination of the victim who has only been "embarrassed and insulted" by him in her earlier deposition.
The apex court had also raised questions on the move of Yadav to seek recall of witnesses saying he has delayed the trial by several months which has led to harassment of the victim, adding the accused has "misused" the process of law.
In its March 4 order, the High Court had, apart from the victim, allowed recall of investigating officers as well as some doctors who had examined the girl and the accused.
The victim was partly re-examined in the trial court in an in-camera proceeding by the counsel for Yadav.
According to the charge sheet, the incident took place on the night of December 5 last year when the victim, who was working for a finance firm in Gurgaon, was headed back home.
The victim had taken the taxi from Vasant Vihar in south- west Delhi to go to her house in Inderlok and the accused, after taking another route, had raped her, police said.
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 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.