NEW DELHI: A woman's childhood friend, who had booked the Uber cab for her through a mobile application on the night of December 5, 2014, today identified the accused as the driver of the vehicle in which she was allegedly raped.
Ayush Dabas, who appeared as a prosecution witness, said neither the victim nor had he consumed alcohol on the night of the incident and stoutly denied a suggestion of the counsel for the accused that he had a fight with her or had physically assaulted her.
He told Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja that he along with the woman and other friends had gone to Cyber Hub in Gurgaon on the night of December 5, 2014 for dinner and while returning home, he had booked a taxi from Vasant Vihar for her from US-based cab service provider Uber's mobile application through his phone.
While recording his examination-in-chief through Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, the witness added that he had received confirmation on the mobile app from the company along with the photograph, mobile number of the driver and the registration number and make of the car.
When the cab arrived near the Priya Cinema market, he said he had verified the details and also face of the accused from the photograph on the app, following which the woman boarded 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav's taxi.
During cross-examination by Yadav's counsel Aalok Dwivedi, the witness deposed that neither any quarrel took place between him and the woman before she boarded the cab nor had he physically assaulted her.
He said he came to know about the incident when the woman called her at around 2 AM and told her about it.
"It is wrong to suggest that I had talked to the woman before 2 AM or that I had threatened her not to disclose to anyone that I had physically assaulted her... "It is wrong to suggest that I did not meet her after the incident till now as I was afraid that she would disclose it to anyone about my act of physically assaulting her and I would be implicated in the case," he testified, adding that, he was in touch with the woman telephonically.
The court had earlier recorded statements of 21 witnesses including the victim who had identified Yadav as the one who had raped her on the night of December 5, 2014 when she had hired the cab and was returning home in west Delhi's Inderlok.
The victim's friend also deposed that he did not drop the woman to her house in Inderlok in West Delhi as it was already late and it would have taken him a lot of time to return to his house in South Delhi's Vasant Vihar.
Dabas added that he had not dropped the woman at any metro station near Vasant Vihar as the victim's house was not near Inderlok Metro Station and it was not safe.
During the day, the court also recorded the statement of woman sub-inspector Alma Minj, the initial investigating officer of the case.
The woman, who has deposed that Yadav had sexually assaulted her, stood firm on her stand during her examination.
The court has framed charges against Yadav under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for alleged offences of endangering a woman's life while raping her, kidnapping with an intent to compel her for marriage, criminally intimidating and causing hurt.