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Nitish Katara murder case: Yadav cousins get life term; death sentence rejected

Delhi(PTI): The Delhi High Court on Friday awarded life term to Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav’s son Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal without remission for 25 years in 12-year-old Nitish Katara murder case.

The court awarded life imprisonment to Sukhdev Pehelwan, third convict in Katara murder case, without remission for 20 years. The court awarded additional 5 year-jail term to all three convicts for destruction of evidence in the case.

However, the court rejected the plea for their death.

Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara, said, “We will move Supreme Court seeking capital punishment to the killers of her son Nitish. We had asked for capital punishment, but the court rejected that plea, on that extend I am disappointed.”

She further added, “But I respect court’s judgment, they at least agreed to enhance punishment,on that extend I am satisfied”

Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehelwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

Also read: Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam Katara unhappy over DP Yadav sharing dais with BJP chief Amit Shah

The convicts had sought leniency in sentencing as well as exemption from death sentence saying they can reform and their act was not so brutal or gruesome that it deserves capital punishment.

On the other hand, the victim’s mother, Neelam Katara, and the Delhi Police had demanded death for the trio terming their offence to be the rarest of rare. If not capital punishment, the convicts be handed down an enhanced life sentence, they have contended.

The high court had on April 2, 2014, upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in the caste system.

Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belong to different castes, the court had said. The high court had dismissed the appeals of the convicts and kept pending two separate pleas of the state and Neelam Katara seeking death penalty for them.

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