A city court on Monday made it clear that it will not issue any directions to Ministry of External Affairs regarding restoration of passport of Bharti Yadav, a key witness in Nitish Katara murder case, until she deposes in the court on November 25. Bharti, daughter of former MP DP Yadav and sister of accused Vikas and Vishal Yadav, is at present in the United Kingdom.
The Indian High Commission in London had revoked her passport in March in 2006 after several bailable and non-bailable warrants were being issued against her for not appearing in the court.
As per the prosecution story, Bharti reportedly had an affair with the deceased. Her brother Vikas and cousin Vishal allegedly murdered Nitish in February 2002, as they did not approve of their relationship.
“Keeping her previous conduct the passport cannot be restored to her till she deposes before the court”, said Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur in her order.
After evading court proceedings for three years, Bharti is now schedule to appear for deposition in court on November 25. In the absence of a passport the MEA on the last date of hearing had proposed to issue an emergency certificate to her for travelling to India. “We have proposed to issue a passport to her as soon as she deposes in court. However, as the proceedings of declaring her a proclaimed offender have already been initiated, a passport cannot be issued to her until she deposes”, said AK Wali, counsel of MEA.
During the chamber proceedings, Bharti’s Counsel, SC Bhutan asked for immediate orders for restoration of her passport as her UK visa will expire on November 30. “As per the rule Bharti has to apply for extension of visa 21 days prior to the date of expiry. Therefore necessary directions be issued to the MEA for immediate restoration of her passport”, said Bhutan.
Responding to this, the MEA counsel said that after her deposition on November 25, he would make sincere efforts to get her passport restored and request on behalf of Government of India for extension of her visa.
The court has now given three days time to Bharti’s counsel to inform it about her view on it. The court also said that incase if she now fails to appear the proceedings of declaring her an offender, which have been suspended till November 25 will be reopened again