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A Delhi court Tuesday sentenced Sukhdev Pehalwan, an accused in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder, to life imprisonment.

Additional Sessions Judge J.R. Aryan awarded life sentence to Pehalwan and imposed a fine of Rs.20,000 on him. The court July 6 held Pehalwan guilty of murder, abduction, destruction of evidence, conspiracy and common intention.

His trial was separated from that of the two other convicts, Vikas and Vishal Yadav, as he could not be arrested till 2005.”The case has been proved against you. That night, you were with Vikas and Vishal Yadav when the murder took place,” the court said at the time of his conviction.

The trial court in 2008 awarded rigorous life imprisonment to Vikas, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, and his cousin Vishal, for their role in the murder of Katara, a business executive and son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, for his proximity to their sister Bharti Yadav.

According to the prosecution, Pehalwan was present with co-convicts Vikas and Vishal in their car after they abducted Katara from a marriage function in Ghaziabad and killed him on the intervening night of Feb 16-17, 2002.The case was shifted to a Delhi court by the Supreme Court on the request of Nitish Katara’s family.

Pehalwan was declared a proclaimed offender before being arrested. He was charge-sheeted in April 2006.


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