The Supreme Court will today pronounce its judgment in what would be the quantum of sentence to be awarded to Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan, the convicts in connection with the February 17, 2002 Nitish Katara murder case.
A bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan will pronounce the verdict on appeals filed by Vikas and Vishal against the Delhi High Court order which had enhanced their respective life terms to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence.
Yadav had made the plea for leniency on September 21 and senior Supreme Court advocate U R Lalit appearing for the convict who is the son of former parliamentarian, DP Yadav, had told a division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C Nagappan, that his client had already served over 14 years of his jail sentence. He also said that his client has been serving his jail sentence without parole, despite both the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court granting him custodial parole several times.
The Delhi High Court had on February 6 rejected the plea for giving a death sentence or enhancing life imprisonment to Vikas and his cousin Vishal to 25 years in jail without any remission. The high court had then held that the murder of Katara, who was in love with Vikas’s sister Bharati, was an “honour killing”, which was done in a very “carefully planned and premeditated” manner with “extreme vengeance”. The high court had decided to enhance the sentence awarded by the trial court, saying “amplitude of the gravity of the offence”, “cries for the need” that they (the convicts) be “adequately punished”.