SC rejects Delhi govt plea seeking death for Katara’s killers

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Delhi government plea seeking death sentence for the three convicts in Nitish Katara murder case including cousins Vikas and Vishal Yadav, saying that it did not fall under the “rarest of rare” category warranting the extreme penalty.

A bench comprising justices JS Khehar and R Banumathi said that it had already dismissed a similar petition of complainant Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish, on the issue.

The court, however, said that it will be needing the assistance of Delhi government’s lawyer in deciding the petitions filed by the three convicts, including Sukhdev Pehalwan, on the “limited questions” as to whether the high court was justified in awarding jail term of 30 years to Yadav cousins and 25 years to Pehalwan.

The bench has now posted the matter for final hearing in February next year.

Last month, the Supreme Court NCDRChad rejected the plea of Neelam who had also sought death penalty for the convicts.

Vikas (39), Vishal (37) and Sukhdev (40) are serving life term awarded by the lower court in May 2008 for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and son of a railway officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav.

The apex court had on August 17, upheld the conviction of Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan in the case.

The court, which upheld the findings of the trial court and the Delhi High Court without issuing notices on the appeals of Vikas and Sukhdev, had agreed to consider the limited aspect relating to enhancement of quantum of sentence of the three convicts by the high court.

The high court had termed the award of life term “simplicitor” to the convicts as inconsequential and enhanced the life term of three convicts — Vikas and Vishal Yadav to 30 years imprisonment and 25 years incarceration to Sukhdev Yadav alias Pehalwan — without the benefit of remission.

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 caste system.

Katara case convicts deserve death: Cops to HC

Nitish Katara murderDelhi Police today told the Delhi High Court that Vikas Yadav and two others, convicted for killing Nitish Katara, deserve death sentence as the offence was “pre-meditated” and committed in a “cold blooded” manner.

“The accused persons (Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan), in furtherence of their common intention, murdered the victim Nitish Katara in a cold-blooded, planned and pre-meditated manner, without any provocation,” the counsel for Delhi Police told a bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha.

Delhi Police and Nitish’s mother Neelam Katara are seeking capital punishment or an enhanced life sentence for Vikas, Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehalwan.

The police said “the brutality of the crime not only lay in the manner of its execution but also in its conception”.
“The burning of the body after killing the deceased and leaving it without any clothes demonstrated a depraved state of mind and lack of remorse as the accused displayed no respect for the human body,” the counsel argued.

It further said that the nature of injuries inflicted on the body proves one blow was sufficient to cause death.

Earlier, the victim’s mother, who had concluded her arguments, had demanded death for the three terming their offence to be of the rarest of rare.

“The trial court as well as this court have already held that this is a case of honour killing. I want to add one thing that the honour killing falls under the rarest of rare category of cases warranting imposition of death penalty,” the counsel for Neelam Katara had told the bench.

“All the accused were earlier involved in criminal cases which shows their propensity towards crime.

“Sukhdev was an absconder for over three and half years, so there is no chance of his reformation and rehabilitation,” the Delhi Police counsel also said.

The arguments will continue on August 8.

Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Nitish Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002. They did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of D P Yadav.

The High Court had on April 2 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.

Nitish Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, his cousin Vishal and Pehalwan 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.

(Source: PTI)

Death term sought for Katara murder convict

State prosecutors have sought death penalty to Sukhdev Pehalwan, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Nitish Katara murder case. On the prosecution plea, the Delhi High Court has sent Pehalwan a notice.

Pehalwan was given life term by the trial court July 12, 2011, for abducting and killing business executive Nitish Katara in February 2002. The prosecution’s petition said that after killing Katara, Pehalwan with co-accused Vikas Yadav tried to destroy evidence and burn his body. It added that it reflected the nature of the criminal and his conduct could not be reformed and he could not be rehabilitated.

According to the prosecution, Pehalwan along with Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, kidnapped and killed Katara, son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, on the night of Feb 17, 2002. They abducted Katara from a marriage party in Ghaziabad as they were opposed to his relationship with Vikas’s sister Bharti.



Delhi Police issued notice on Vikas Yadav’s bail plea

The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to Delhi Police on a plea for an interim bail of Vikas Yadav, who is undergoing life imprisonment along with his cousin Vishal for killing Nitish Katara in February 2002.

Justice B.D. Ahmed issued tne notice to Delhi Police, seeking their reply by April 7.

Vikas, in his application, has sought an interim bail for three months, saying that his younger brother Kunal’s marriage is fixed for April 29 and the rituals would start April 14 when the engagement ceremony is scheduled.