The Supreme Court Monday modified the jail terms for Vikas Yadav and Sukhdev Pehlwan in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case, reducing them by five years each. Vikas will now have to undergo an imprisonment of 25 years without remission while Sukhdev will be jailed for at least 20 years.
A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra said that the Delhi High Court order of sentencing the duo to jail terms consecutively under charges of murder and for destruction of evidence shall be modified and the punishments shall rather run concurrently. Vikas was sentenced to 25 years in jail under murder charge and another five years for destruction of evidence. Similarly, it was 20 years for Sukhdev for murder and an additional five years for destroying evidence.
The top court upheld the High Court order on specifying a minimum jail term without remission and said courts are empowered to do so.
The third convict in the case, Vishal Yadav hadn’t appealed against the High Court order and he has to undergo 30 years in jail without remission.
Nitish Katara, a business executive was murdered by Vikas and Vishal over the victim’s relationship with their sister Bharti. He was abducted from a marriage function in Ghaziabad and killed in February 2002. Vikas is the son of influential Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav.