New Delhi: The final arguments in the Uber cab rape case could not commence today in a Delhi court as the accused driver moved a plea seeking to recall all the 28 prosecution witnesses on the ground that he was not given fair opportunity to defend himself.
32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, who is facing trial for allegedly raping a 25-year-old woman executive in his cab on the night of December 5, 2014, alleged that there were "glaring defects, mistakes and illegalities" requiring recall of all the witnesses to re-cross examine for just and fair decision of the case.
Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja after hearing arguments of the counsel for Yadav and the prosecutor, reserved the order on the plea for February 18. The court was slated to hear from today the final arguments, which could not commence in view of the fresh application of the accused.
Advocate D K Mishra, who was recently appointed by Yadav to defend himself, argued that "miscarriage of justice" was done to the accused who was not represented properly by the earlier defence counsel.
The plea was opposed by Senior Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava who said a change of defence counsel was no ground to recall the witnesses. He argued that the accused was trying to delay the trial in the case by moving such applications.
During the arguments, the defence counsel argued it was the legal and lawful right of the accused to get a fair trial. "But the records reveal that the entire state machinery has tried to secure conviction of the accused without giving him a fair and just opportunity to defend himself," he said in the application.
He claimed that the previous counsel was a newbie who was not well versed with the criminal trial of such a magnitude and did not conduct the trial in a proper manner.