Katara case: Hearing against conviction begins
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday began hearing the appeals of the 2002 Nitish Katara murder convicts, including that of former Rajya Sabha MP DP Yadav`s son Vikas Yadav, who is serving life term here in Tihar Jail along with cousin Vishal and hired killer Sukhdev Pehalwan.
Vikas` counsel UR Lalit began the argument before a bench headed by Justice Gita Mittal, contending that the prosecution need to establish its "last seen evidence" as there were contradictions about the time when the victim left the marriage party on the fateful night.
The prosecution had said Katara, a business executive, was abducted from a marriage party of his friend at Ghaziabad on intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 and was later killed for his alleged intimacy with Vikas` sister Bharti Yadav.
Lalit said he would first deal with the contradictions in the statements of various witnesses about the time when the victim left the marriage party on the fateful night.
"Some witnesses, present in the marriage party, say Nitish Katara was present from 1.00 to 1.15 am (approximately) on February 16-17, 2002 at the Diamond Palace.
"Ajay Katara (the witness, who last saw the victim in the company of the convicts) said he saw the victim along with Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev in a Tata Safari around 12-12.30 am on that night. The question of last seen evidence would only arise only when the prosecution thrash this mess," Lalit said.
The lawyer also alleged that leading questions were asked by the trial judge from the prosecution witnesses.
"At least, some judge used the legal provision on the issue to know the truth. I do not see anything wrong with it," Justice Mittal said.
The court has now fixed the case tomorrow for further arguments by the counsel for Vikas.