Vikas, Vishal Yadav guilty of murdering Nitish Katara (Lead)

May 28th, 2008 - 2:18 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Six years after the brutal murder of Delhi boy Nitish Katara, a court Wednesday held influential Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav’s son Vikas Yadav and his nephew Vishal Yadav guilty. The courtroom was packed as Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur announced her verdict in the high profile case and held the Yadav brothers guilty of murder, kidnapping and destruction of evidence.

The quantum of sentence, which could range from life imprisonment to death penalty, will be pronounced Friday.

“I thank god and the media for helping me out in this long battle. This is a landmark judgement and my belief in the judicial system has increased,” Neelam Katara, Nitish Katara’s mother who waged a relentless battle for justice against the powerful Yadav family, told IANS soon after the guilty ruling came in.

Special Public Prosecutor B.S. Joon said he would demand death penalty for the accused.

Defence counsel G.K. Bharti added they would appeal in the higher court as the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

Nitish Katara, son of a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was kidnapped and murdered after he attended a wedding in Ghaziabad Feb 16, 2002. His body was found in a village in Bulandhshahr in Uttar Pradesh.

The Yadavs resented Nitish’s alleged relationship with D.P. Yadav’s daughter Bharati.

The defence had made several attempts to delay the judgment.

On Tuesday, the accused approached the Delhi High Court, appealing against the trial court order dismissing the application seeking a stay on the judgement and re-examination of key witness Ajay Katara - no relative of the Katara family - who saw the body in Bulandshahr.

A high court bench of Justices Manmohan Sarin and Manmohan passed the plea to a single-judge bench, to be heard early Wednesday morning. But the verdict came before that.

Judge Kaur gave her ruling after after questioning Vishal’s counsel on whether he was able to obtain a stay from the Delhi High Court. He was told that the hearing was scheduled to take place anytime, but the judge refused to stay the judgment and held them guilty.

The trial court had Tuesday rejected the application from the Yadavs raising objections on the affidavit Ajay Katara filed Saturday. Ajay had affirmed the authenticity of a sting operation carried out by a newspaper. In the sting, Ajay was shown as saying he never saw Vikas and his cousin Vishal Yadav taking away Nitish from a marriage party.

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