Sunday, October 2, 2016

Nitish Katara Murder Case: Yadav Cousins Get 25 Years In Jail

Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal, convicted for the kidnapping and murder of 25-year-old Nitish Katara in 2002, will serve 25 years in prison each, the Supreme Court ruled today.

It has sentenced their associate Sukhdev Pehalwan to 20 years in prison.

The Yadav cousins and Pehalwan had appealed in the top court against an order of the Delhi High Court, which had in February last year sentenced them to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence.

The Supreme Court had upheld their conviction last year, observing that "only criminals are crying for justice" in this country. But it had also rejected a petition by Nitish Katara's mother Neelam Katara that they be given the death penalty.

"The Supreme Court should not reduce the sentence term. Crime has to be punished without delay in order to reduce crime," Neelam Katara had told NDTV on Monday morning.

Nitish Katara, a 25-year-old executive, was kidnapped and burnt to death in Ghaziabad near Delhi in 2002. He was dating Bharti Yadav, the daughter of a politician DP Yadav. Nitish and Bharti were at a wedding when Mr Katara was abducted by Ms Bharti's brother Vikas Yadav and their cousin Vishal.

The High Court had called it an "honour killing" and said the crime was in the "rarest of rare category," awarding the convicts the lengthy prison term. But it refused to award them the death sentence, saying the possibility of their reformation and rehabilitation is not "unforseeably foreclosed".

Vikas Yadav, arrested soon after Nitish Katara was murdered, has pleaded that he has already been in prison for 14 years.

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