Four days after Vikas and Vishal Yadav slapped a defamation suit on him, special public prosecutor in the Nitish Katara murder case BS Joon on Tuesday asked the Delhi government and the Delhi Police for security. He said he feared the accused could physically assault him.
In a letter to deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi district), senior superintendent of police, Ghaziabad, and director of prosecution branch, Joon said, “Keeping in view the criminal background of the accused I apprehend that they or their associates may cause any physical harm or assault to me during the course of trial”.
On November 17, Joon received a legal notice from the counsels of Vikas and Vishal Yadav, the two main accused in the case, slapping a defamation suit of Rs 20 crore on him. They gave him three days time to pay the amount.
Their argument was that Joon had maligned the image of the Yadav family in the eyes of their relatives and friends when, during arguments in the court, he said the signatures of Bharti Yadav on a fax sent by her from London were forged.
The defence in the notice said that through the statement the prosecution has maligned their image “as this indicates that the signatures were forged on their instance”.
Neelam Katara, Nitish’s mother, has already filed an application against the defamation notice in the Delhi High Court. “This has been done to put indirect mental pressure on the prosecutor as he has been successful in calling Bharti Yadav to depose in the case. It is a kind of intimidation. We are surely going to challenge it in high court,” said Kaushik Dey, Katara’s counsel. The high court is likely to take up the application on November 23.
Joon has filed a reply to the notice in the court of additional sessions judge Ravinder Kaur. He has also sent a copy of the said notice to his departmental head.
On July 21, in response to a non-bailable warrant against Bharti Yadav, the court had received a fax message which carried her purported signature. The court had asked the prosecution to verify the authenticity of the fax and Bharti’s address through the ministry of external affairs.
“An expert opinion was also taken on the said signatures which further confirmed that they did not match with those on the cards and letters sent by Bharti Yadav to Nitish Katara, when they were reportedly seeing each other”, said BS Joon.
Katara was allegedly kidnapped from a marriage party on February 17, 2002, by the two accused and murdered. Katara was reportedly dating Bharti at the time, which her brothers Vikas and Vishal did not approve of.