Sentencing in Nitish Katara murder Friday

May 29th, 2008 - 10:24 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) A city court is likely to pronounce Friday the quantum of punishment to Vikas and Vishal Yadav, who have been held guilty of the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara. The court Wednesday convicted influential Uttar pradesh politician D.P. Yadav’s son Vikas and nephew Vishal also for kidnapping Nitish Katara and attempting to destroy evidence.

Special Public Prosecutor B.S. Joon told IANS Thursday the prosecution would demand death penalty for the convicted cousins as the case falls under the category of the “rarest of the rare”.

The prosecution held that the cousins had killed Nitish, son of an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, on the night of Feb 16-17, 2002, as they did not approve his close ties with Vikas’ sister Bharti.

Nitish was kidnapped and murdered after he attended a wedding in Ghaziabad that night. His body was found in a village in Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.

“The way Nitish was murdered was not only brutal but inhuman. Moreover, the fingerprints of Vikas and Vishal were found on the hammer used for killing Nitish,” Joon said.

“Ajay Katara has identified both the accused and the recovery of a watch from the half-burnt body and its identification by the victim’s mother Neelam Katara is also supporting our basis for demanding the death penalty,” Joon said.

However, defence counsel G.K. Bharti said the case did not fall under the “rarest of the rare” category and there was minimal possibility of death penalty.

Additional Sessions Judge Ravinder Kaur in her judgement that ran into 1,100 pages observed: “The relationship between the two (Nitish and Bharti) was not mere friendship, it had ballooned into a love affair and showed that they wanted to marry.”

Remarking that Bharti’s deposition in the court was crucial, the judge observed: “I feel her conduct… did not (do) justice to the soul of the deceased without whom she had claimed she could not survive.”

Bharti, now based in Britain, had initially avoided court summons apparently under family pressure, before deposing before it.

She tried to make a “balanced statement” in the court as she had already lost Nitish and did not want to lose her brother, the judge noted.

“From the conduct of the accused persons, the inference can be drawn that they were aware of the relationship between the two and Vikas did not appear in the court on both days when Bharti was examined though he was present in the lock-up,” the judge said.

“This shows that he had the knowledge of the relationship between the two and had no courage to face Bharti,” the judge said.

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