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Nitish Katara case: HC rejects plea to re-examine key witness

india Updated: Apr 21, 2010 20:06 IST

The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea by a co-accused in Nitish Katara murder case seeking to re-examine key witness Ajay Katara.

"I do not find any material irregularity or perversity in the impugned order by which the trial court had rejected the plea of accused seeking to recall for re-examining prosecution witness Ajay Katara," Justice S N Aggarwal said.

Sukhdev Pehalwan, a co-accused who is standing a trial separate from convicts Vikas and Vishal Yadav as he had absconded after the offence, had filed the petition saying re-examination of Ajay Katara was necessary in the wake of a sting operation in which he had allegedly admitted that his testimony was false.

Citing a news report on the sting operation, the plea alleged the witness cannot relied upon as he confessed that his statement was fake and tutored one.

Earlier, Ajay Katara, recording his statement as 14th prosecution witness, had testified he had last seen Nitish alive in the company of Vikas, Vishal and Pehalwan on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

The trial court had on February 19 this year had rejected the plea of Pehalwan against whom the trial started in 2005 after he surrendered before police in connection with the case.

Vikas and his cousin Vishal were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for killing Nitish, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, as they did not approve his intimate relations with their sister Bharti Yadav.

The Yadavs have challenged their conviction in the Delhi High Court.

The court is at present recording the statements of defence witnesses.

According to the prosecution, Pehalwan was with the accused in their Tata Safari car after they had abducted Nitish from a marriage function at Ghaziabad on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

They had allegedly killed Nitish on that fateful night.