Nitish Katara Murder Case: Supreme Court Vikas, Vishal Yadav To 25 Years In Prison :- On Monday, The Supreme Court sentenced Nitish Katara murder convicts Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav 25 years in prison, reducing their term from 30 years. The brothers’ aide Sukhdev Pehalwan, also convicted in the case, was sentenced to 25 years. The Supreme Court, furthermore, ordered that the jail sentences would run concurrently, not consecutively.
A bench of Justices C Nagappan and Dipak Misra pronounced the verdict on the appeals filed by Vishal and Vikas against the Delhi High Court order which had enhanced the life term to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence in the case by terming the murder of Katara as honour killing.
The acquaintance of Yadav – Sukhdev Yadav alias Pehelwan was also awarded an enhanced life sentence of 25 years without remission by the court which held that the crime fell in rarest of rare category.
The mother of Nitish Katara – Neelam Katara, reacting to the verdict, said that she was happy with the Supreme Court decision. She added that it would not be a big deal if she asked for 10 years more punishment.
On 17th August, 2015, The Supreme Court had upheld the conviction of Vishal, Vikas, and Sukhdev, saying only criminals are crying for justice in this country.
Earlier, the high court had held that the murder of Nitish Katara was an honour killing which was done in a very carefully planned and premeditated manner with extreme vengeance. Nitish Katara was in love with the sister of Vikas.
The court had also enhanced the fines imposed on Yadavs by slapping an amount of Rs 54 lakh each on them, to be deposited in the trial court within six weeks.
The convicts – Vikas (39), Vishal (37) and Sukhdev (40) were serving life term awarded by the lower court in the month of May 2008 for abducting and killing Nitish Katara who was a business executive and the son of a railway officer, on the night of 16th and 17th February, 2002, as they opposed the affair of victim with Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav.
On 2nd April 2014, The high court had upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as honour killing stemming from a deeply-entrenched belief in caste system.
The court said that Nitish Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belonged to different castes.