Katara case: Yadav’s plea for relief in murder case rejected

The Asian Age.  | J. Venkatesan

Metros, Delhi

The high court, while modifying the death sentence, enhanced the life sentence to 25 years and an additional five years for destroying evidence.

Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav. (Photo: File)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, refused to review its November 2016 order awarding 25 years’ imprisonment to Vikas Yadav, for the ‘honour killing’ of Nitish Katara, who was in love with Vikas’s sister.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra dismissed the review petition of Vikas Yadav in the chamber as no merits warranting reconsideration of the order. Last year the court, while strongly deprecating ‘honour killings,’ has upheld the award of 25 years’ sentence to Vikas Yadav. 

The Delhi high court, while modifying the death sentence, enhanced the life sentence to 25 years and an additional five years for destroying evidence. In his plea for review Vikas Yadav said that considering the fact that he had been incarcerated in jail for the last 15 years, the court should be sympathetic and reduce the quantum of sentence. 

The apex court, while dismissing Vikas Yadav’s appeal, said that the sentence of additional five years under IPC Section 201 (for causing disappearance of evidence) would run concurrently and not consecutively as ordered by the Delhi high court. It will mean that he will undergo 25 years in jail. Yadav’s acquaintance, Sukdev, was awarded 20 years’ sentence and he did not seek review.

The apex court had said, from the findings recorded by the high court, that it is clear the crime was committed in a planned and cold blooded manner with the motive that has emanated due to feeling of some kind uncalled for and unwarranted superiority based on caste feeling that has blinded the thought of “choice available” to a sister — a representative of women as a class. The apex court pointed out that the high court, in its judgment of conviction, has unequivocally held that it is a case of “honour killing” and the said findings, apart from being put to rest, also gets support from the evidence brought on record.

The court said, “The circumstantial evidence by which the crime has been established clearly lead to one singular conclusion that the anger of the brother, on the involvement of the sister with the deceased, was the only motive behind the murder. One may feel “my honour is my life” but that does not mean sustaining one’s honour at the cost of another.”

It said, “Freedom, independence, constitutional identity, individual choice, and thought of a woman — be it a wife or sister or daughter or mother — cannot be allowed to be curtailed, definitely not by application of physical force or threat or mental cruelty in the name of his self-assumed honour.”

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