Free Press Journal

Katara case convicts deserve death: Delhi police tells HC


New Delhi: Delhi Police today told the Delhi High Court that Vikas Yadav and two others, convicted for killing Nitish Katara, deserve death sentence as the offence was “pre-meditated” and committed in a “cold blooded” manner.

“The accused persons (Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan), in furtherence of their common intention, murdered the victim Nitish Katara in a cold-blooded, planned and pre-meditated manner, without any provocation,” the counsel for Delhi Police told a bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha.

Delhi Police and Nitish’s mother Neelam Katara are seeking capital punishment or an enhanced life sentence for Vikas, Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehalwan.

The police said “the brutality of the crime not only lay in the manner of its execution but also in its conception”.
“The burning of the body after killing the deceased and leaving it without any clothes demonstrated a depraved state of mind and lack of remorse as the accused displayed no respect for the human body,” the counsel argued.

It further said that the nature of injuries inflicted on the body proves one blow was sufficient to cause death.

Earlier, the victim’s mother, who had concluded her arguments, had demanded death for the three terming their offence to be of the rarest of rare.

“The trial court as well as this court have already held that this is a case of honour killing. I want to add one thing that the honour killing falls under the rarest of rare category of cases warranting imposition of death penalty,” the counsel for Neelam Katara had told the bench.

“All the accused were earlier involved in criminal cases which shows their propensity towards crime.

“Sukhdev was an absconder for over three and half years, so there is no chance of his reformation and rehabilitation,” the Delhi Police counsel also said.

The arguments will continue on August 8.

Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Nitish Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002. They did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of D P Yadav.

The High Court had on April 2 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.

Nitish Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, his cousin Vishal and Pehalwan as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belong 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.