In a new twist to the fast-track trial in the rape of a woman executive by an Uber cab driver, the wife of the accused on Monday hired a new defence counsel, stalling the start of recording of evidence in Shiv Kumar Yadav’s defence. The accused also, to add to the drama, alleged inside the courtroom that the media was guilty of “false” reporting.
Yadav, who was to be examined as the first defence witness in the case, alleged that he was not being “represented properly” and a “sham trial” was being conducted in the case.
The new defence counsel, Dharmender Kumar Mishra, takes charge from advocate Aalok Dwivedi.
After Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja left the court after Monday’s hearing, Yadav threatened to “assault” reporters present inside the courtroom. “What does the media write about me? It is all false. I am being attacked inside the jail for this reason. I will beat them up if I see them inside the courtroom the next time,” Yadav shouted.
During the proceedings, the new defence counsel sought more time from the court to examine Yadav as the defence witness, as he wanted to go through the “entire facts of the case”.
“I want to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice for not having a proper defence. This is an international case. I want to go through all the facts in the case, after which I will be able to give proper representation to the accused,” Mishra said.
He sought time till February 16 but the court refused and instead fixed February 11 for the next hearing.
“The accused is in jail. We need to speed up the trial,” the judge said.
There was more heat in the courtroom when the public prosecutor and the defence counsel got into a verbal match “over the delay”. “The appointment of new defence clearly shows that they want the trial to be delayed. Let the accused also be asked whether he wants to get examined. Let the new counsel talk to his client for 10 minutes today, after which we can examine him as the defence witness,” the public prosecutor argued.
However, the defence said, “(From) the evidence recorded till now, it seems like a sham trial. I need (to ensure) a fair trial in the case, for which I need to go through all the facts in the case.”