Katara murder case: HC refuses to suspend Vishal`s sentence
New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to suspend the sentence of Vishal Yadav, who along with his cousin Vikas is serving life term for killing MBA graduate
Nitish Katara in 2002, saying that there was no change in the circumstances since he challenged his conviction.
A division bench of Justices BD Ahmed and Manmohan Singh rejected Vishal`s plea for suspension of his sentence till the court decides on his appeal filed in 2008 after being sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court.
Earlier, in August 2009, the bench had also rejected Vishal`s plea for grant of bail.
Senior advocate Amarender Sharan, appearing for Vishal, said there was no "direct evidence" against him and the lower court had convicted him on the basis of
circumstantial evidence including the recovery of a watch, a Tata Safari car and some other objects.
The bench rejected the argument that Vishal has been in jail for more than five years and the High Court itself had granted him bail for two-and-a-half years during the trial and during that period he had maintained a clean record.
The submission that the High Court can consider the bail application on the ground of delay in hearing of the appeal was also rejected by the bench.
The appeal against the conviction has been pending for less than three years and this court would hear the final argument soon, the bench said.
Meanwhile, additional standing counsel Sanjiv Bhandari, appearing for the prosecution, opposed the bail plea by submitting that lower court had held him guilty after considering the "enough material" against him.
This was a case of dishonour killing and a wrong message would go to the society if he was granted bail, Bhandari said.
The trial court, in May 2008, had sentenced Vishal and Vikas, son of controversial UP politician DP Yadav, to life imprisonment for kidnapping Katara on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 from a marriage party in Ghaziabad and
killed him as they were against their sister’s relationship with him.
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