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Uber cab rape case: HC order on accused’s plea on March 4


New Delhi: Delhi High Court today reserved its order on the plea of the accused in the Uber cab rape case for recall of prosecution witnesses and directed the trial court not to pronounce its verdict till then.

Justice Sunita Gupta said the order will be passed on March 4 on the plea of accused Shiv Kumar Yadav, who allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman in December last year, after the court concluded hearing arguments of both sides.

Yadav, through his lawyer D K Mishra had sought recall of the 28 prosecution witnesses on the ground that the earlier defence counsel was “incompetent”.

Mishra later restricted the list of witnesses he wished to recall to 13, including the victim, who he alleged had improved upon her statements.

He also alleged that various crucial evidence, including DNA samples and sexual assault kits, had been planted and tampered with.

Advocate Rajesh Mahajan, appearing for Delhi Police, on other hand opposed the plea saying if it is allowed, it will amount to a re-trial.

He said that if the accused wanted to recall only a limited number of witnesses then he should have moved such a plea before the trial court.

Mahajan also said that its easier to find fault with the earlier counsel in hindsight and said that the strategy and focus of earlier defence lawyer may have been different.

He said if present plea is allowed, a third defence lawyer might come at a later stage and then there would be no end to it.

Yesterday, the high court had refused to stay the ongoing proceedings before a trial court here in the case after Mishra requested the bench that till his plea to recall witnesses to re-examine them is pending before it, the ongoing final arguments be stayed.

Mishra, who had challenged the trial court’s February 18 order rejecting 32-year-old Yadav’s plea for recalling witnesses, had contended that there were lot of discrepancies in the case for which cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses was necessary.

In the plea before the trial court, Yadav had sought to recall all the 28 prosecution witnesses on the ground that he was not given fair opportunity to defend himself.

However, the trial court had dismissed his plea saying there was no change in circumstances except for a change of counsel, which was no ground to allow the application.

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