SC to decide quantum of punishment in Nitish Katara murder case tomorrow
The Supreme Court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and their aide Sukhdev Pehalwan, who were convicted in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case.india Updated: Oct 02, 2016 20:14 IST
The Supreme Court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and their aide Sukhdev Pehalwan, who were convicted in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra will decide the appeals filed by Vikas and Vishal against a Delhi high court order enhancing the life term to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence in the case by terming the murder of Katara as “honour killing”.
Yadavs’ acquaintance Sukhdev Yadav, also known as Pehelwan, was also awarded an enhanced life sentence of 25 years without remission by the court, which held that the crime fell in the “rarest of rare category”, but saved them from the gallows, saying the possibility of their reformation and rehabilitation is not “unforeseeably foreclosed”.
Katara — a business executive and son of a railway officer — was abducted and killed on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev, as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti — daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav — because they belonged to different castes.
The HC had on April 2, 2014 upheld the verdict of the lower court, describing the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in the caste system.
The top court had on August 17, 2015 upheld the conviction of the three, saying “only criminals are crying for justice” in this country.
While upholding the conviction, the apex court had said it will separately consider hearing pleas on the limited aspect relating to enhancement of quantum of sentence of the three convicts by the high court.
Earlier, the high court had held that the murder of Katara, who was in love with Vikas’s sister, was an “honour killing” done in a “very carefully planned and premeditated” manner with “extreme vengeance”.
It had also enhanced the fines imposed on Vikas and Vishal to Rs 54 lakh.
Vikas, 39, Vishal, 37, and Sukhdev, 40, are currently serving their life terms awarded by the lower court in May 2008.