The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the trial proceedings on an appeal by a 25-year-old woman, allegedly raped by a driver of a Uber cab in Delhi, against an order to recall and examine afresh her and 12 other witnesses.
A bench led by Justice J S Khehar suspended the Delhi High Court order that had permitted the accused driver to re-examine the victim and 12 other witnesses all over again.
Admitting the appeal by the victim, the bench also issued notices to accused Shiv Kumar Yadav and the Delhi Police, seeking their responses within two weeks.
“Issue notice to the respondents. The proceedings before the trial court shall remain stayed. The High Court order dated March 4 shall also remain stayed,” ordered the court.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the victim, said that the accused has wrongly been allowed to recall and re-examine the witnesses and it will create further agony for the victim and as a consequence, will delay the trial.
On March 4, the High Court had allowed the plea by accused Shiv Kumar Yadav to recall the victim, investigating officers as well as some doctors who had furnished medical reports in the case. Yadav had complained that the case was proceeding at a hurried pace and that he was also not being duly represented by a counsel.
However, the appeal by the victim trashed his claims in the apex court, stating the High Court order would amount to a re-trial on a flimsy ground by the accused, causing substantial injustice to the complainant.
“The conclusion of the High Court that it is the accused alone who stands to suffer on account of the delay is totally wrong as it is the victim who suffers the most for having to go through a trial virtually from the beginning all over again,” read the petition.
Questioning as to why the High Court passed the order without giving her any opportunity to contest the claims made by the accused, the petition highlighted that she “will be put to unnecessary torture and harassment by going through the traumatised experience once again.”
It sought an immediate stay on the High Court order, saying “there is reasonable ground to believe that the petitioner is put to such an ordeal only to be victimised repeatedly.”