Nitish Katara case: HC verdict on sentence likely today


Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehelwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and the son of an IAS officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of D P Yadav.

A special bench of justices Gita Mittal and and J R Midha will deliver the verdict on the challenge petitions in the 13 -year-old case after concluding hearing arguments on sentence against the convicts on December 8 last year.

The court has been hearing arguments on the punishment to be awarded to the three convicts since April 2014.

The convicts have sought leniency in sentencing as well as exemption from death sentence saying they can reform and their act was not so brutal or gruesome that it deserved capital punishment.

On the other hand, the victim’s mother, Neelam Katara, and the Delhi Police have demanded death for the trio, terming their offence to be the rarest of rare.

If not capital punishment, the convicts be handed down an enhanced life sentence, they have contended.

The high court had on April 2, 2014, upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in caste system.

Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belonged to different castes, the court had said.

The high court had dismissed the appeals of the convicts and kept pending two separate pleas of the state and Neelam Katara seeking death penalty for them.