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Nitish Katara murder case: Mother seeks death for convicts

Nitish Katara murder case: Mother seeks death for convicts

Neelam Katara's counsel said that the convicts have also committed several offences while remaining behind the bars.

New Delhi: The mother of Nitish Katara, who was abducted and killed in 2002, on Friday sought death penalty for the three convicts including UP politician DP Yadav's son Vikas saying they were a "menace to the society and there was no chance of their reformation or rehabilitation".

Neelam Katara's counsel, during his arguments on the sentence before a special bench of justices Gita Mittal and JR Midha, said that the convicts have also committed several offences while remaining behind the bars, which showed no remorse and repentance on their part.

"From 2002 to 2013, they (convicts) committed over eleven offences, which shows no remorse and repentance. They committed these offences while remaining in custody. This shows that there is no chance of their reformation and rehabilitation.

"I am placing material which prove they are a menace to the society and that itself will establish that there is no possibility of their reformation. So, the only option is death sentence," advocate PK Dey, appearing for Neelam, told the bench.

Seeking enhancement of the sentence of life term to death penalty, the counsel argued the eleven offences committed by them are not only criminal in nature but it was a direct interference with the judicial administration.

Referring to Vishal, the counsel said while remaining in jail, he and other convicts have threatened the prosecution and even tried to destroy the evidence in the case, which suggests Vishal has no remorse and repentance.

Dey argued the convicts have committed the crime of honour killing which comes under the category of the "rarest of rare" and they can neither be reformed nor rehabilitated as they are habitual offenders.

The arguments which remained inconclusive will continue on July 11. During the hearing, Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) OSD SS Rathi, who was asked by the high court to enquire about the convicts' capacity to pay compensation to the victims or their families, gave the report. Rathi in his report said the "total expenditure incurred on this case by the exchequer is Rs 5.86 crores".

Giving details of the expenses, Rathi said that the then Special Public Prosecutor B S Joon in the case has apprised that the cost of investigation in the matter was around Rs two lakh in the year 2002.

"As such, the total approximate cost from the prosecution department side comes to Rs 46.71 lakh. Total expenditure in the Witness Protection head comes to Rs 3.89 crores till date. "Total expenditure incurred by District Judiciary as well as High Court registry is estimated to be Rs 73-74 lakh. All expenses incurred by the Jail Administration in providing boarding and lodging of accused/convicts is Rs 35.60 lakh," the report reads.

It said the expenses incurred in transportation, security and manpower for the three convicts from jail to court/hospitals during trial and thereafter is Rs 39.95 lakh. In pursuance of a Supreme Court order, the Delhi High Court had said three convicts will have to pay compensation to the family of Nitish.

The apex court had in a landmark verdict in Ankush Shivaji Gaikwad Vs UOI case, said that under Section 357 of the Criminal Procedure Code, courts dealing with criminal offences are bound to consider granting compensation to the victims or their families.

Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Nitish Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002. They did not approve of the victim's affair with Bharti, daughter of DP Yadav.

The High Court had on April 2 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.

Nitish Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and co-convict Sukhdev Pehalwan as they did not approve of victim's affair with Bharti, daughter of DP Yadav, as they belong to different castes, the court had said. The high court had dismissed the appeals of the convicts and kept pending two separate pleas of the state and Neelam Katara seeking death penalty for them.

first published:July 04, 2014, 19:37 IST