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Katara case: Mother`s testimony credible to nail convicts

Last Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 21:33

New Delhi: The police on Monday told the Delhi High court that the statement of slain youth Nitish Katara`s mother Neelam, imputing motive to his son`s killers for their offence, can be treated as a "credible" evidence to nail them.

The special public prosecutor was responding to court`s queries as to whether the information shared by the victim with his mother, who in turn deposed it in the court, can be treated as credible evidence or be trashed as "hearsay".

"Statements which constitute the motive behind the offence fall under the exception clause dealing with the hearsay evidence and can be treated as credible one," prosecutor Dayan Krishnan told a bench of justices Gita Mittal and JR Midha.

Neelam Katara, in her statement to police and later to the court during the trial, had said her son had earlier told her that accused Vikas and Vishal Yadav were averse to his affair with their sister Bharti Yadav.

The prosecution claimed Neelam`s testimony, despite being a hearsay, was "spontaneous" and cannot be disbelieved as it corroborated the motive behind the offence.

Dealing with the law on evidence and various reports of the Law Commission, the prosecutor said, "One can draw the presumption in favour of the statement (of the mother) by relating it to the proven facts such as letters written by Bharti to Nitish and their common photographs...".

Vikas and Vishal had taken away Nitish from a marriage party at Ghaziabad on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 and had killed him with the help of third accused Sukhdev Pehalwan. Yadavs and Pehalwan are serving life term in the case.

The victim had also said he was in a "relationship" with Bharti and was planning to marry her and the girl`s father, who was against it, may give his approval later, the mother had testified.

The advancing of final arguments in the case remained inconclusive and would resume tomorrow.

The prosecutor, earlier, had said the mother`s statement, indicting the accused in the FIR, was "spontaneous", "immediate" and "proximate" to the incident and, hence, cannot be disbelieved.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Vishal earlier, had urged the court to reject the deposition of key witness Ajay Katara who had seen the victim alive last in the company of the accused.

Vikas and Vishal were convicted by the trial court in 2008 for abducting and murdering Nitish Katara, son of an IAS officer.

The duo along with their accomplice Pehlwan, who absconded for some time but was arrested in 2005 and was tried separately, were sentenced to life term by the trial court.


First Published: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 21:33
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