More than 10 months after a 25-year-old woman was raped and sexually assaulted inside a radio taxi in the national capital, a fast-track court in Delhi Tuesday convicted cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav, holding him guilty on charges of rape and endangering the life of the victim. Yadav, a former driver of Uber taxi service, faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Additional Session Judge Kaveri Baweja on Tuesday convicted Yadav on charges of rape and causing grievous bodily harm to the victim under the relevant sections of the IPC. He was also found guilty of kidnapping and abducting the victim, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.
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The court is set to hear the arguments on the quantum of punishment Friday, October 23. The detailed order on Yadav’s conviction will be made available after the arguments.
Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, said he will seek the maximum punishment — life imprisonment — for Yadav Defence counsel D K Mishra said he would appeal the verdict in Delhi High Court. “There are loopholes in the Delhi police’s investigation. The same has been argued in this court. I will appeal in the high court after the detailed judgement is available to us,” said Mishra.
On December 5 last year, the woman, who worked for a finance firm in Gurgaon, had taken an Uber cab to go home. Instead, Yadav took her to an isolated area and raped her. He also threatened to insert a “saria” (rod) inside her if she raised an alarm, stated the police charge-sheet.
Saying he was “satisfied” with the verdict, the woman’s’ father told The Indian Express, “I hope the convict gets maximum punishment… I am also very satisfied with the fast-track trial and the day-to-day trial of the case. However, the defence tried all possible tactics to delay the trial by recalling the victim.
his not only caused a delay but also forced my daughter to undergo the horrific experience again. I want to thank the Supreme Court for dismissing the defence plea to recall the victim.”
The special fast-track court had put Yadav on trial on the basis of scientific evidence and the statement of the woman. The court had stated that “considering the injuries of the prosecutrix and her statement, wherein she alleged that the accused tried to strangulate her and thereby endangered her life while committing rape upon her”, prima facie rape charges are made out against Yadav.
The incident had triggered public outrage, after which the Delhi government had banned Uber from operating in Delhi.
Responding to the court’s order, Uber India released a statement, saying, “Sexual assault is a terrible crime and we are pleased he has now been brought to justice. Safety is a priority for Uber and we have made many improvements — in terms of new technology, enhanced background checks and better 24/7 customer support — as a result of the lessons we learned from this awful case. That said, Uber can always do better, which is why are continually looking for ways to improve safety before, during and after the ride”.