Who should hear Vikas Yadav’s appeal, court asks government

August 4th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday sought to know from the government’s law officer as to which high court - that of Delhi or Uttar Pradesh - is entitled to hear Vikas Yadav’s appeal challenging his conviction in the murder of Nitish Katara. A bench of Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice H.S. Bedi sought the government’s law officer’s opinion as Vikas Yadav approached the apex court challenging an Allahabad High Court ruling. The court had refused to hear his plea challenging Delhi’s Patiala House court judgement convicting him.

Vikas Yadav, son of former lawmaker D.P. Yadav, and his cousin Vishal Yadav were convicted by the Patiala House court for Nitish Katara’s murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment. Vikas and Vishal resented Nitish’s relationship with their sister Bharati.

Katara, was kidnapped and murdered after he attended a wedding in Ghaziabad Feb 16, 2002. His half burnt body was found in a village in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh.

On a plea by Katara’s mother Neelam Katara, who apprehended that Vikas’ father was interfering with the probe and trial in Ghaziabad, the Supreme Court had shifted the trial to the Patiala House court.

Yadav had moved the Allahabad High Court challenging his conviction and sentence. But the court had refused to hear it, saying it was not entitled to hear the appeal against a judgement delivered by a trial court in Delhi.

The Allahabad High Court said the right forum to challenge a Delhi trial court’s ruling is the Delhi High Court itself.

Vikas Yadav subsequently came to the apex court, pleading that his appeal against his conviction be heard by any high court outside Delhi as the media had led a campaign against him, swaying the Delhi trial court against him and leading to his conviction.

Issuing notice to the government, the bench asked for its stand on the issue of the high court’s jurisdiction in a criminal offence committed in one state but tried in another.

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