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Nitish Katara murder: Delhi HC upholds life term of 3 convicts

The Delhi high court on Wednesday upheld the life imprisonment awarded to the three convicts, including Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav, for the abduction and murder of Nitish Katara in 2002, saying it was a case of "honour killing".

A division bench of justice Gita Mittal and justice JR Midha dismissed the appeals of three convicts against a trial court verdict of May 2008 awarding them life imprisonment.

"The appeals are devoid of merit. We have also held that the killing of Nitish Katara was a honour killing," the bench said.

The bench fixed April 25 as the date for hearing the prosecution's plea seeking death sentence to the three convicts - Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and contract killer Sukhdev Pehalwan - on April 25.

The court will also consider the prosecution's plea seeking death sentence to the three convicts on April 25.

The high court's judgement came nearly a year after it had reserved its verdict on April 16 last year.

"I am very happy with this verdict, both as an Indian citizen and as a mother," Neelam said.

"My stand is vindicated, this is a case of honour killing or rather power killing. They commit murder and claim it is about honour," she said.

She told reporters she would rather call it power killing after the Delhi HC termed her son's murder as a case of honour killing.

"It has been a very tough personal battle. It wasn't about hostile witnesses, it was difficult to even get witnesses."

The bench of justice Mittal and justice Midha had reserved the verdict on appeals of Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Yadav on April 16 last year after hearing final arguments.

The lawyers for the convicts, state and Neelam Katara had started advancing final arguments on April 16, 2012.

Vikas, Vishal and Pehalwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Nitish Katara, a business execitive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

The court has heard five appeals filed by three convicts against their conviction and one each from the prosecution and Neelam Katara, seeking award of death penalty to the persons found guilty by the lower court.

However, the court had decided to segregate the appeals filed by the victim's mother and the prosecution from that of convicts.

The prosecution had alleged that the Yadavs allegedly killed the victim as they did not approve his alleged affair with their sister Bharti Yadav.

Vikas and Vishal were convicted by the trial court in 2008.

Their accomplice Pehlwan, who had absconded for some time but was arrested in 2005, was tried separately and sentenced to life term by the trial court.

Originally Source : Hindustan Times click here

NEWS ID : 31 | 02 Apr 2014 | By : Reporter
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