Determined not to relive her traumatic experience before the trial court for a second time, the Uber rape case survivor has moved Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order allowing the accused to reexamine all 13 police witnesses, including her.
A Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice HL Dattu agreed to examine the appeal that was mentioned before him by the survivor’s counsel, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves. The CJI fixed Tuesday to hear the matter.
While the petition was being filed before the SC, the 25-year-old financial analyst appeared before the trial court for her cross-examination during in-camera proceedings.
There she asked the court whether it was possible to excuse her from week day proceedings as she needed to go to work. The court asked her to file an appropriate application and called her on Tuesday for further questioning by the defence.
Before moving Supreme Court, the survivor had expressed her anguish at having to appear in the court again. “Words cannot describe what I am currently going through and I can continue to suffer mentally everyday this goes on,” she told the media on March 8.
Her petition in SC assails the March 4 high court order on the grounds that it wasn’t “backed by any reasoning”. She said the HC rejected accused Shiv Kumar Yadav’s pleadings and even allowed his recall plea. It was a cryptic conclusion and a “surprising about turn”, the appeal stated.
The HC had noted that Yadav was in custody and if he adopted delaying tactics, it was he who would suffer. Contradicting this, the survivor said it wasn’t the accused but she who was suffering the most for “having to go through a trial virtually from the beginning all over again”.
“The order is unconstitutional and in breach of the principles regarding recall and reexamination, causes substantial injustice to the complainant and goes against the very principles of speedy trial and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013,” reads the petition.
It said the HC gave its verdict without making the survivor a party. Yadav had moved the HC against the trial court’s decision rejecting his plea to recall the witnesses because a new counsel was defending him.
The trial court rejected his contention that he wasn’t properly represented after noting that the earlier defence lawyer acted in accordance with the instructions of the accused. Adequate time was granted to the accused by deferring the cross-examination, the trial court had said.