New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the life sentence of 2002 Nitish Katara murder convicts Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav and reduced their jail term from 30 years to 25 years.
Reducing 30 years of rigorous imprisonment awarded to Vikas Yadav, cousin Vishal Yadav, the Supreme Court said, "the convicts Vikas and Vishal will undergo 25 years of imprisonment whereas aide Sukhdev Pehalwan will serve 20 years in prison."
Rejecting plea of Vikas Yadav, son of dreaded politician DP Yadav, that Delhi HC had power to quantify life sentence as 25 years, a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and C. Nagappan said, "Punishments for Vikas Yadav and Sukhdev Pehlwan will run concurrently and not consecutively as ordered by the Delhi High Court."
The Delhi high court in April 2014 had sentenced the accused to 25 years in jail without remission and an additional five years for destruction of evidence. The court convicted them on various offences, including abduction, murder, and destruction of evidence. The high court had also termed the murder a “carefully planned, premeditated case of vengeance and honour killing”.
Initially, a trial court in Delhi had awarded a life sentence for 14 years.
In 2015, the Supreme Court had upheld the conviction but agreed to hear an appeal against sentencing.
The accused are currently serving a life term for the murder of Nitish Katara in 2002 after he was found to have a relationship with Bharti Yadav, daughter of D.P. Yadav, an Uttar Pradesh-based politician.