Yadavs kept in jail for undertrials, HC raps Tihar Authority
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up the Tihar prisons authority for keeping Vikas and Vishal Yadav, convicts in the Nitish Katara murder case, in a jail meant for undertrials.
"How come they (Yadavs) were not kept in convicts' jail. Everyone should be treated uniformly," a bench of justices Gita Mittal and V K Shali said.
"It is most inappropriate. The jail authority cannot flout rules. If required, we will call the jail officials to explain the situation," the court said.
The court's observation came after Delhi police counsel Dayan Krishnan submitted that Yadavs, serving life term in Tihar jail, were kept in a prison meant for undertrials for few months after their conviction and had been shifted back to the same jail for the last six months.
The counsel was arguing on a plea of victim's mother Neelam Katara alleging that jail officials have illegally allowed Yadavs to visit various hospitals under the pretext of health problem.
In her plea, she contended that Vishal had made 87 visits to Batra Hospital and Vikas was shifted from 'B' class facility to 'A' class at AIIMS after their conviction in 2008.
She contended that Vikas had gone out of AIIMS during his admission in custody on October 26, 2011 on Diwali day.
The court had earlier asked the medical superintendent of the Army's Research and Referral (R and R) Hospital to form a board of doctors and evaluate the medical records of both the convicts and give a report "as to how many of their visits from Tihar to AIIMS and Batra hospitals were justified."
The medical board of R&R Hospital last year had submitted a report about the convicts' frequent hospital visits and after going through it in open court, the bench had said that "many of the duo's visits were unjustified."
"The report is very categorical. Some visits to hospitals by accused (Vikas and Vishal) are justified but more visits and also admissions are unjustified," the bench had said.
Nitish Katara, a business executive, was abducted from a marriage party in Ghaziabad on the night intervening February 16 and 17, 2002 and was later killed by convicts for his alleged intimacy with Vikas' sister Bharti Yadav.
In May 2008, the trial court had sentenced Yadav brothers and co-accused Sukhdev Pehlwan to life imprisonment for the murder of Nitish Katara, son of an IAS officer.
Challenging the trial court's order on conviction and sentence, Yadavs and Pehlwan have filed appeal in the Delhi High Court, which is hearing the final arguments.