The Supreme Court has sentenced Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav to 25 years in prison in the sensational Nitish Katara murder case. Slightly modifying the Delhi High Court order of sentences on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld the order on specifying a minimum jail term without remission.
The court has also sentenced their associate Sukhdev Pehalwan to 20 years in prison. The Delhi High Court order had earlier given 30 years in prison to the Yadavs and 25 to Pehalwan.
Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam Katara said she was satisfied with the decision of Supreme Court.
“We wanted death sentence, but am happy that the court acknowledged that this was not normal murder, but an honour killing by rich people drunk on power,” Neelam Katara said.
“Of course I wish they had got 10 years more. The evidence they destroyed was my son’s body, not a pair of slippers,” she added.
In February 2002, Nitish Katara, a 25-year-old business executive and the son of a railway officer, was kidnapped and killed in Ghaziabad near Delhi.
Police later found that Katara was burnt to death as he was in a relationship with Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav. Vikas, son of DP Yadav, and his cousin planned the murder as they opposed the affair due to caste difference.
In 2014, the High Court had convicted the three men, calling it as “honour killing, stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in caste system. The court also said the crime was in the “rarest of rare category”.