Nitish Katara’s killers Vikas and Vishal Yadav will not be given the death penalty, the Supreme Court ruled today saying the 2002 murder was not an honour killing and could not be called a rarest of rare case.
Vikas and Vishal Yadav, cousins, who were sentenced to 30 years in jail by the Delhi High Court for the young executive’s murder.
Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam Katara had moved the court seeking the death penalty for Vikas and Vishal Yadav, who are serving a 30-year sentence handed down by the Delhi High Court for Nitish’s murder. She said that the murder was nothing but an honour killing.
Rejecting her plea, the court observed on 9 October that “It is a murder and not heinous. What the accused did is condemnable, but does not call for the death penalty.”
After the court’s order, Neelam said she would continue to “fight for justice”. “I respect the court’s decision. We will come prepared with more facts next time. This fight shall continue,” she said.
Nitish was 25 when he was burnt to death in Ghaziabad, near Delhi. He was dating Bharti Yadav, daughter of politician DP Yadav. The young couple was attending a wedding party when Nitish was abducted and set on fire by Bharti’s brother Vikas and her cousin Vishal.
His corpse found near a highway and the police had to use his DNA samples to identify his body. During the trial, Bharti said she and Nitish had met at a business school.