The long awaited decision by the Delhi High court has finally come in the Nitish Katara murder case. The court rejected the plea for death penalty by prosecution and has sentenced 25 years imprisonment to Vikas Yadav, the son of UP politician DP Yadav and his cousin Vishal for the murder of Nitish Katara, a friend of Vikas Yadav’s sister.
Both Vikas and Vishal were also fined Rs 50 lakh each. The court also increased the jail term of another convict Sukhdev Pehelwan to 25 years, saying all of them will have to undergo same imprisonment without any remission behind bars except for the additional five years awarded to the trio for destruction of evidence in the case.
A special bench of justices JR Midha and Gita Mittal delivered the verdict in the 13-year-old case after concluding hearing arguments on sentence against the convicts December 8 last year.
Expressing disappointment on the pronouncement of the order and over rejection of the plea for death penalty, victim’s mother Neelam Katara said: “We are happy that the court has awarded them 25 year imprisonment. I will approach the Supreme Court, appealing that they should be given death penalty.”
Denying taking the compensation she said: “I didn’t want the compensation amount awarded by the court as I feel that no numerical value can be put on the life of my son.”
In its over 700-page judgement, court said that “the time spent by Vikas Yadav in hospital (October 10, 2011 to November 4, 2011) shall not be counted as period already undergone by him in jail.”
His cousin Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehelwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and the son of an IAS officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of DP Yadav.
On April 2, 2014, the high court had upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as “honour killing” in caste system.