Uber Rape Case: Delhi HC Confirms Rapist Driver’s Imprisonment For Rest Of His Life [Read Judgment]

Uber Rape Case: Delhi HC Confirms Rapist Driver’s Imprisonment For Rest Of His Life [Read Judgment]

HC says despite stringent provisions added to IPC, rapes are on the rise

The Delhi High Court has affirmed the sentence of imprisonment for rest of life to Shiv Kumar Yadav, the Uber cab driver who had raped a 25-year-old executive in his cab in December 2014, while holding that he had previous involvement in rape cases and did not appear to have learnt anything from those experiences.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel upheld the November 2015 order of the trial court which found him guilty of voluntarily causing hurt, abduction, rape and criminal intimidation and sentenced him to imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life.

The bench dismissed Yadav’s appeal while not being impressed with the argument of his counsel that the sentence of life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376(2)(m) IPC (persistent sexual assault) was unduly harsh and the court should consider awarding a lesser sentence of ten years imprisonment, i.e., the minimum sentence for the offence under Section 376(2)(m) IPC.

Despite stringent provisions added to IPC, rapes are on the rise

Dismissing the argument, the bench said, “The Court notes that instances of rape have been on the rise, notwithstanding more stringent provisions being inserted in the IPC post 16th December 2012. Section 376(2)(m) IPC came into force pursuant to the recommendations on changes to the IPC made by the Justice Verma Committee. Yet, statistics collated by the National Crime Bureau for 2016 show that 38,947 women were raped that year. In other words, nearly five rapes were committed every hour in that year!”

“Despite his previous criminal record of being involved, amongst others, in cases punishable under Section 376 IPC, the Appellant does not appear to have learnt anything from those experiences. While one of the cases against him under Section 376 IPC ended in his acquittal, there is at least one other case involving the same offence pending against him. Given the track record of the Appellant and the extreme physical and mental trauma suffered by PW-2 (victim), there is absolutely no scope for any leniency as far as the sentence is concerned.

“Consequently, this Court affirms the order on conviction as well as the order on sentence passed by the trial Court. The appeal and the pending applications are dismissed,” it held.

Yadav has been found guilty of raping the victim who was working in a finance company in Gurgaon, Haryana, for nearly three years.

On December 5, 2014, she went to a restaurant in Gurgaon to have dinner with her friends and travelled back till Vasant Vihar with a friend. From Vasant Vihar, her friend booked a cab for her around 10:15 pm using the Uber application on his mobile phone.

The cab, which arrived at the spot, was being driven by Yadav. After a while, during the commute, the victim fell asleep. When she woke up, she realised that the cab was parked at an isolated spot and Yadav was misbehaving with her. When she raised an alarm, Yadav threatened her saying he would do to her what was done to the December 16, 2012 gangrape victim. He then raped her before dropping her near her house.

Read the Order Here