In a new turn in the Nitish Katara murder case, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian informed the Supreme Court on Monday that accused Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav were intimidating Public Prosecutor SS Joon and had served a legal notice seeking Rs 20 crore damages.
Taking strong exception to the allegations, a Bench of Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice DK Jain warned that such actions could invite contempt proceedings and asked the accused brothers to respond to it.
The ASG complained to the court that the duo had issued notices to Joon through their advocate seeking Rs 20 crores as damages for speaking to the media and tarnishing their image.
In his interviews to the media, Joon is said to have questioned the veracity of faxed message claimed to have been sent by key witness Bharti Yadav. In that fax message Bharti, sister of prime accused Vikas Yadav, had offered to depose from the UK through video conferencing.
Subramanian said the notice issued on behalf of the accused to the Public Prosecutor was highly objectionable as it was intended to demoralise and intimidate him.
The ASG intervened in the matter after an application moved by Neelam Katara, mother of the deceased, told the court that the legal notice to Joon was sent on November 17, four months after the said interviews and was intended to intimidate Joon.
Subramanian alleged that earlier, another Public Prosecutor SK Saxena was also forced to withdraw from the case due to similar intimidation.
Vikas and Vishal are facing trial in the case for allegedly abducting Nitish from a marriage party in Ghaziabad and then killing him. Prosecution alleged that they murdered Nitish, as the Yadav family did not approve of her relations with the deceased.