Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav, and his cousin Vishal, who were sentenced to life imprisonment by a city court in the Nitish Katara murder case last week, had tried to put pressure on witnesses during the trial.
"The conduct of accused had throughout been to mislead the court and put pressure on the witnesses or to give them temptations so that they did not depose against them, which amounts to an additional link in the chain of circumstances proved by the prosecution," Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur said.
Vikas, 35, and Vishal, a year younger, had kidnapped Nitish on the night of February 16, 2002 from a marriage party in Ghaziabad and killed him. Vikas was opposed to Bharti's intimacy with Katara.
The court, while holding them guilty, referred to various applications of key witness Ajay Katara moved before it during the trial seeking directions to Uttar Pradesh police officials to provide him security.
The court noted it had to issue directions to DIG, UP Police in July, 2003 to ensure that witness Katara was not harassed by the police officers at the behest of the accused.
Katara had to seek court's intervention as he, according to him, was being framed in a case of violating the SC/ST Act.
"It is observed that it was a serious matter as the only witness who had not turned hostile was receiving threats from police officials," ASJ Kaur said in the judgment.
"The accused even did not spare the Special Public Prosecutors as legal notices were got issued to them, which were later withdrawn with the intervention of the Delhi High Court," the court said.