Delhi High Court order on recalling of witness in Uber rape case stayed by Supreme Court

Delhi High Court order on recalling of witness in Uber rape case stayed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today stayed the order passed by the Delhi High Court by which the High Court had allowed the recalling of 13 witnesses, including the victim in the Uber rape case. Earlier, the Supreme Court on Monday had allowed to give the matter an urgent hearing after the same was mentioned by senior lawyer Mr. Colin Gonsalves before the bench headed by Chief Justice of India.

In addition, the Supreme Court also stayed the proceedings of the trial court. The Bench headed by Justice Khehar said, “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.”

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appeared for the victim and submitted that the High Court had erred in allowing the recall of witnesses and that it will only cause delay in the trial. The Bench also was inquisitive about whether the High Court could allow the recalling of witnesses. Drawing a parallel with bail, it observed, “Courts apply different yardsticks while granting and cancelling the bail. Likewise, if a court below has granted liberty to an accused to recall witnesses, then can this court deny it?”

Senior Advocate Mr. Colin Gonsalves also submitted to the Court that the trial court had passed a “well-reasoned” order and that the High Court did not give any specific reasons for reversing the same.

Before the High Court, the accused had submitted that he did not get a fair trial as his lawyer was a novice. Thereafter, the High Court had allowed recall of witnesses and ordered that the cross examination be done on a day to day basis.

You may read more of our coverage of the Uber case here.