Nitish Katara’s killers Vikas and Vishal Yadav will not be given the death penalty, the Supreme Court ruled today saying the 2002 murder was not an honour killing and could not be called a rarest of rare case.
Vikas and Vishal Yadav, cousins, have been sentenced to 30 years in jail by the Delhi High Court for the young executive’s murder. Nitish’s mother Neelam Katara had moved the court seeking the death penalty for them, arguing that the murder was an honour killing.
Rejecting her plea, the court observed today that “it is just a murder and not heinous. What the accused did is condemnable but does not call for the death penalty.”
After the court’s order, Mrs Katara said she would continue to “fight for justice.” “I respect the court’s decision. We will come prepared with more facts next time. This fight shall continue,” she said.
Nitish Katara was 25 when he was burnt to death in Ghaziabad near Delhi. He was dating Bharti Yadav, daughter of politician DP Yadav. The young couple was attending a wedding party when Mr Katara was abducted and set on fire by Bharti’s brother Vikas and her cousin Vishal.
His corpse was charred so badly that it could not be recognized. It was found near a highway days after the wedding from where Nitish was seen leaving with the Yadavs in their SUV. The police used DNA samples to identify his body.
During a long trial, Ms Yadav denied that she had been romantically involved with Mr Katara; they had met at a business school.