No death sentence for Vikas and Vishal Yadav in Nitish Katara murder case

Delhi High Court: Refusing to award death sentence to Vikas and Vishal Yadav in the sensational Nitish Katara murder case, the Court extended the life imprisonment to 25 years of actual imprisonment without consideration of remission, and fine of Rs. 50 Lakh each along with rigorous imprisonment of 10 years under Sections 364/34 IPC which will run concurrently with the sentence given under Section 302/34 IPC. The Court, stating that the removal of all sources of identification and burning of the body beyond identification was part of single premeditated plan executed by the defendants, awarded rigorous imprisonment for 5 years with fine of Rs. 2 lakh and said that the said sentence will run consecutively to the 25 years of actual imprisonment awarded to the defendants. The Court said that the depravity in the mindset and planning of the crimes, brutality in its execution, post crime conduct during investigation and trial detailed above point to one essential fact that a life sentence which means only 14 years of imprisonment was grossly inadequate in the present cases and that these defendants did not deserve remission of the life sentence imposed on them by application of Section 433A of the CrPC.

In the present case where the parties were represented by Sumeet Verma and Rajesh Mahajan, drawing a distinction between the punishments imposed upon Vikas and Vishal Yadav on one hand and on the third convict Sukhdev Yadav on account of his involvement being influenced by the fact that he was the employee of Vikas Yadav’s father and that he was not a person of substantial means, the Court awarded him life imprisonment of 20 years of actual imprisonment without consideration of remission along with a fine of Rs. 10, 000. The Court also considered the fact that Nilam Katara, the mother of the deceased, had not prayed for the enhancement of the sentence against him.

In the present case, the 2 judge bench of Geeta Mittal and J.R. Midha, JJ said that the meticulous planning and execution of the crime, the brutality with which it was executed and various other factors and circumstances certainly brought the present case in the category of ‘rarest of rare’ cases, however, the Court, referring to various judgments of the Supreme Court, dissuaded from invoking it’s jurisdiction to impose the death sentence considering the irreversibility of the death sentence and the possibility of any Judge on the Bench taking a different view. Vikas Yadav v. State of UP, , decided on 06.02.2015

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