Her intimacy with Nitish Katara was the reason for the “honour killing” but Bharti Yadav played a “hide and seek” with the court at the instance of her brothers to delay the trial, Delhi High Court said today.
While the victim’s mother was forced to move “heaven and earth” to ensure Bharti’s presence as star witness, “what makes a really pathetic story is the manner” in which prime accused Vikas Yadav utilised prosecution’s inability to produce her as witness.
The High Court narrated in detail the sequence of events from the day of murder on the night of February 16-17, 2002 to suggest that how Bharti’s family members including her father, a controversial Uttar Pradesh Politician D P Yadav, kept her away from prosecution by shuttling her from one state to another and “eventually removing her from boundaries of India to United Kingdom”.
“One glaring instance of the manner in which both investigation and trials were delayed is the manner in which Bharti Yadav was first shifted from one State to another i.e. from Ghaziabad (UP) to Faridabad (Haryana) immediately after the crime to prevent access to her of the UP Police.
“As a result, her statement under Section 161 CrPC could be recorded only on March 2, 2002 by investigating officer,” a bench of Justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha noted.
“During trial, Bharti Yadav was removed from boundaries of India and sent to United Kingdom as noted in the judgment of April 2, 2014. Even her address was not furnished to enable the prosecution to summon her.
“In court, she was represented by father and an uncle of Vikas Yadav (who were also uncles of Vishal Yadav). Bharti Yadav played hide and seek with the court for over three years holding up the trial. This was obviously at the instance of these defendants,” the bench held.