New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued
notice to Sukhdev Pehalawan, the third person sentenced to
life term in the Nitish Katara murder case, on a state`s plea
seeking death penalty for him.
A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha sought
Pehalwan`s response by February 1 on a petition by Special
Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan seeking capital punishment
for him in the case.
Citing Pehalwan`s conduct in the case, the prosecution,
in its petition, said, "Pehalwan is not capable of being
reformed or rehabilitated as it is evident from his conduct
post-crime and the circumstances."
According to the petition, after killing Katara,
Pehalwan, in collusion with co-accused Vikas and Vishal Yadav,
did not only burn the body but also tried to destroy the
"The trial court should have awarded maximum punishment
to Pehalwan as he did not only kill the victim but had tried
to destroy evidence after murder," said the petition.
Pehalwan, an alleged henchman of former Rajya Sabha
member D P Yadav`s son Vikas and nephew Vishal, was awarded
life term by the trial court in July 12, last year for
abducting and killing business executive Nitish Katara in
collusion with the duo in February 2002.
While pronouncing the sentence, the trial court had
rejected prosecution`s plea for death sentence to him, saying
the case did not fall under the category of the rarest of rare
"The case of the appellant cannot be taken to fall in a
category where murder was committed with a motive which
evinced total depravity and meanness, for example, murder by
hired assassin for money or reward," the trial court had said.