SC to hear plea for enhancement of punishment to Katara convicts

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea for enhancement of sentence to be awarded to Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav’s son Vikas, his nephew Vishal and their henchman Sukhdev Pehelwan in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case.

A bench of Justices J S Khehar and R Banumathi, which had confirmed their conviction on August 17, put the petition filed by Neelam Katara, mother of the victim, for consideration on Friday, October 9.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Katara, sought hearing on the petition seeking death penalty for the convicts.

The court, meanwhile, agreed to hear after four weeks the convicts’ point of arguments on sentence.

The 2002 “honour killing” of Katara, an MBA and son of a senior railways officer by two brothers and Pehelwan after his abduction from a party in UP’s Ghaziabad district, had ignited a huge public outcry.

The brothers did not appreciate their sister Bharti’s relationship with the victim.
Vikas’ father D P Yadav was sentenced to life term in another murder case.

The High Court had awarded the convicts life term without remission till they served 25 years jail term.

The High Court had awarded them five more years in jail for destruction of evidence which has to be served consecutively.

Challenging the HC order, the convicts claimed they were held guilty solely on a statement made by witness Ajay Katara, whose very presence on the fateful day and his act of recognising them was in question.

They contended the witness came to police one month after the incident on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

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