UBER Rape Case; Accused Shivakumar is sentenced to Imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life [Read Judgment]

UBER Rape Case; Accused Shivakumar is sentenced to Imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life [Read Judgment]

Uber cab driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav (32), who was convicted for raping and endangering life of a 25 year old girl in his taxi on December 5, 2014 is sentenced to the maximum punishment of rigorous imprisonment for life by the Ms. Kaveri Baweja Additional Sessions Judge of Special Fast Track Court, Delhi.

The rape occurred when the survivor, a finance executive working in Gurgaon, was returning to her house at Inderlok.  Yadav, a resident of Uttar Pradesh was arrested on December 7 from Mathura and has been in judicial custody. The final hearing of arguments had concluded on October 7.

Shiv Kumar Yadav was convicted on 20th of October for offences under Sections 323,366,376 (2)(m) and 506 of Indian Penal Code for endangering a woman’s life while raping her, abducting with intent to compel her for marriage, criminally intimidating her by threatening to insert iron ‘Saria’ inside her body and causing grievous bodily harm to her.

During pre-sentence hearing, the prosecution insisted on the maximum prescribed punishment to be awarded to the convict whereas the defence prayed for a lenient view.

The prosecutor submitted that the heinous crime committed by Yadav was not only against the prosecutrix but also against the society. He also highlighted the previous criminal involvement of the convict and FIRs registered against him in earlier 8 occasions out of which in one he was admittedly acquitted. The Prosecutor urged that the very fact that convict was constantly indulging in crime apparently proves that there is no room for his reformation.

The Defence Counsel submitted that the convict deserves leniency as he has a family to support, which comprises of his old parents, wife and three minor children. He contended that violence used by the convict was only minimal and only scratch marks were found on the neck of the prosecutrix and thus to be punished only for the minimum period of 10 years.

The court appreciated contentions of both sides and concluded that what the convict had committed was a heinous crime which was not only against the rape survivor but also against the society at large. “He endangered the life of the victim while committing rape upon her and his act demands imposition of most severe punishment so that it acts as a deterrent and rebuilds the public confidence in the efficacy of law. The sentence in this case, must therefore, serve as a step towards the effort to put an end to commission of such crimes against women in our country. Every women needs to feel secure in her motherland, which necessarily demands dealing with such offenders with an iron hand,” said the Court.

He is sentenced to Rigorous imprisonment for life, 10 years, 7 years and 1 year for the offences under Sections 376 (2)(m), 366, 506 and 323 respectively of IPC. All sentences have been ordered to run concurrently. Apart from imprisonment a fine of Rs. 21,000/- has also been imposed which would be released to the victim by way of compensation.

In addition to the above, the Court also recommended payment of adequate compensation to the victim as per provisions of Section 357A of Cr.PC, of quantum as decided by Delhi Legal Aid Services (DLSA).

Considering the helpless and innocent family of the convict which will be put to great hardship on sentencing him the court also directed DLSA to consider and make necessary provisions for care and maintenance of the old aged parents, wife and minor children of the convict.

Earlier, the victim had also sued Uber in a San Francisco court demanding damages to compensate her for the trauma but later withdrew the civil suit in the US. In response to the incident, Uber India President Amit Jain had stated that the firm has made improvements to ensure the safety of passengers.

Read the Judgment here.