In a jolt to prosecution in the Nitish Katara murder case, a witness resiled before the Delhi Court from his statement that he had seen the victim along with the main accused Vikas and Vishal Yadav at a marriage party in Ghaziabad.
Rohit Gaur, brother of the bride Shivani Gaur whose wedding the accused and Nitish had attended, denied recently before the Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur that he had given any statement to the police.
He retracted from the statement that Nitish and Bharti Yadav, the elusive witness in the case, were close friends.
Gaur did not stand by his statement that Vikas and Vishal, son and nephew of Uttar Pradesh politican DP Yadav, had left the banquet hall with the victim in a Tata Sumo after having dinner at the wedding.
Seventeen witnesses in the case have turned hostile.
Bharati, a key witness in the case, is required to appear before the trial court on Thursday in response to a proclamation notice issued on July 29 this year requiring her to appear before it on September 28.
While Vikas and another accused Sukhdev Phelwan are in jail, Vishal has been granted bail by the Delhi High Court which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Bharti on Wednesday moved a fresh application before the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of an order declaring her a proclaimed offender while her lawyer gave an undertaking that he would make efforts for her deposition. The High Court posted the matter for further hearing to October 16.
Katara was allegedly kidnapped and murdered on the night of February 16-17, 2002 from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, where he had gone to attend a marriage party.