NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – A special fast track court on Tuesday sentenced Shiv Kumar Yadav – the convict in Uber rape case – to life imprisonment, held guilty for raping a woman executive inside his cab.
Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja sentenced Yadav for life imprisonment for rape and causing grievous bodily harm to the victim under the relevant sections of the IPC, the Indian Express reported.
He has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for charges of kidnapping the victim. He has also been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt. All the sentences will run concurrently, ordered the court.
After the court pronounced its sentence, Yadav’s wife and two children broke down and refused to leave the court room. Yadav’s wife eventually fainted.
The verdict on Yadav came more than 10 months after a 25-year-old woman was raped and sexually assaulted inside a radio taxi in the national capital.
While the special public prosecutor had always appealed for maximum punishment, defence counsel has alleged earlier that there were loopholes in the investigation of the Delhi police.
On December 5 last year, the woman, who worked for a finance firm in Gurgaon, had taken an Uber cab to go home. Instead, Yadav took her to an isolated area and raped her. He also threatened to insert a “saria” (rod) inside her if she raised an alarm, stated the police charge-sheet.
The special fast-track court had put Yadav on trial on the basis of scientific evidence and the statement of the woman. The court had stated that “considering the injuries of the prosecutrix and her statement, wherein she alleged that the accused tried to strangulate her and thereby endangered her life while committing rape upon her”, prima facie rape charges are made out against Yadav.
The incident had triggered public outrage, after which the Delhi government had banned Uber from operating in Delhi.
The victim, a woman working for an international consulting firm, fell asleep on the way home. Yadav then drove to a secluded place and raped her.
Yadav’s lawyer, DK Mishra, said he would appeal against the sentence in a higher court. “My client is innocent,” he told reporters after the sentence was passed.
The passenger also sued Uber in a US federal court in January, but later withdrew her suit.
Indian authorities face sustained criticism for not doing enough to address a weak system of law enforcement and policing that leaves women vulnerable to sex crimes.
Politicians often blame rape victims for the crime committed against them in comments that reflect entrenched patriarchal attitudes in India.
In 2014, 36,735 rapes were committed and nearly 338,000 crimes against women were reported, according to data from India’s National Crime Records Bureau.
After the December incident, Uber introduced safety measures and tightened driver checks. A court recently revoked the ban on the company’s services in Delhi.
Last month, the federal government released guidelines to regulate online taxi companies, saying they should do stringent security checks and not contract anyone convicted of a “cognizable offense” under India’s criminal laws.