A Delhi High Court judge Wednesday recused herself from hearing a plea by Vishal Yadav, serving life term in the Nitish Katara murder case, seeking three-month parole to sell his property to arrange funds for his daughter’s education. When the matter came up before Justice Mukta Gupta, she said the case be listed before another bench on December 15. The judge did not give any reason for her recusal.
The matter was listed before this bench after the transfer of the previous judge who had asked the Delhi Police to file a status report after full verification of the facts. The court had also sought response of Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish, on the plea and said that the notice be also served to witness Ajay Katara to present his case.
Yadav, in his plea, has said he was in custody and could not challenge the December 2014 order of the high court by which his appeal was dismissed in the murder case and sought a three-month parole to engage a lawyer and make other arrangements to exercise his legal and constitutional rights.
He has claimed there was no one else to look after his daughter, studying in class 10, for her education and that he has to dispose of his property in Ghaziabad’s Vaishali to arrange for funds for her studies and his litigation. He also wished to meet his grandmother who was in an advanced stage of life, the plea said. On August 29, the Supreme Court had dismissed his plea seeking review of its verdict sending him to prison for 25 years.
Besides Vishal Yadav, the apex court had awarded a 25-year jail term to his cousin Vikas Yadav and 20 years in prison for third convict Sukhdev Pehalwan in the case. The top court had earlier dismissed the appeals against their conviction in the case for kidnapping of Katara from a marriage party on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 before killing him for his alleged affair with Bharti Yadav, the sister of Vikas Yadav.
Bharti is the daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav who is in jail in connection with a murder case. Katara was murdered as Vishal and Vikas Yadav did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti because they belonged to different castes, the lower court had said.