NEW DELHI -- Supreme Court today awarded 25- year jail term each to Vikas Yadav and cousin Vishal Yadav for their role in the kidnapping and killing of Nitish Katara in 2002.
A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan also handed down a 20-year jail sentence to their co-convict Sukhdev Pehalwan in the case.
The bench modified the Delhi high court verdict that had said that separate jail terms of 25-years and 5-years for the offences of murder and destruction of evidence would run consecutively against Vikas and Vishal.
The court said both the jail terms would run concurrently that would effectively lead to the award of 25 years of imprisonment to the Yadavs.
Simultaneously, Pehalwan, who was granted 25-year jail term in the case by the high court, will now have to face 20-year imprisonment in the matter.
The order came on the appeals filed by Vikas and Vishal against the Delhi high court order which had enhanced the life term to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence in the case, terming Katara's murder as "honour killing".
The Yadavs' acquaintance Sukhdev Yadav alias Pehelwan was then awarded an enhanced life sentence of 25 years without remission by the high court which had held that the crime fell in "rarest of rare category", but saved them from the gallows saying possibility of their reformation and rehabilitation was not "unforseeably foreclosed".
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.
On 16 and 17 February 2000, the trio — Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev abducted and killed Katara, a business executive and the son of a railway officer. Reportedly, they did so because Katara belonged to a different caste and thus they opposed the victim's affair with Bharti, daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav.
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