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Trial in #Uber case to continue, no re-examination of witnesses – Supreme Court

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today allowed the appeal filed by the rape victim and the State of Delhi challenging the Delhi High Court verdict which had allowed re-examination of 13 witnesses in the trial court. The stay on the trial has also been lifted.

The judgment was rendered by a Division Bench comprising Justice JS Khehar and Justice AK Goel which had heard the matter on August 13 and reserved it for judgment.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had appeared for the State of Delhi while Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves represented the prosecutrix. Advocate DK Mishra had appeared for the accused Shiv Kumar Yadav.

The prosecutirx was allegedly raped on December 5, 2014 by the driver of the Uber taxi she had hired. The accused, Shiv Kumar Yadav, was initially allowed a legal aid counsel.

However, he replaced the legal aid lawyer with an advocate of his choice before the trial began. Subsequently, after the examination of witnesses, Yadav again changed his advocate and sought re-examination of witnesses by his new advocate on the ground that the earlier lawyers were inexperienced and had not conducted the cross-examination efficiently.

The request was turned down by the trial court, but allowed by the Delhi High Court. The order of the Delhi High Court was, however, curt and did not explain the reasons for allowing the plea for re-examination. The prosecutrix and the State came in appeal to the Supreme Court against this decision of the Delhi High Court.

You can read the details of the hearing here.