The Supreme Court On Monday sentenced the two accused in the Nitish Katara murder case, Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav, to 25 years in prison.
Their aide, Sukhdev Pehalwan was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Neelam Katara, mother of victim Nitish Katara, expressed her contentment with the SC verdict saying, “I’m happy with SC’s decision, qualitatively. Honour crime will get stringent punishment, its not an ordinary crime.”
Happy with SC’s decision, qualitatively. Honour crime will get stringent punishment, its not ordinary crime: Neelam Katara, Mother of Nitish pic.twitter.com/fbzeKyZ1gj
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 3, 2016
The Supreme Court had on August 17, 2015, upheld the conviction of Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev, saying “only criminals are crying for justice” in this country.
While upholding the conviction, the apex court had said that it will separately consider hearing pleas on the limited aspect relating to enhancement of quantum of sentence of the three convicts by the High Court.
It, had, issued notice to the Delhi government on the scope of punishment and sought the reply within six weeks.
Earlier, the high court had held that the murder of Katara, who was in love with Vikas’s sister, was an “honour killing” which was done in a “very carefully planned and premeditated” manner with “extreme vengeance”.
It had also enhanced the fines imposed on Vikas and Vishal by slapping an amount of Rs 54 lakh each on them, to be deposited in the trial court within six weeks.
Vikas (39), Vishal (37) and Sukhdev (40) were serving life term awarded by the lower court in May 2008 for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and the son of a railway officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav.
The high court had on April 2, 2014, 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.
Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev as they did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belonged to different castes, the court said.
(With PTI Inputs)