Nitish Katara Case Convict Demands Parole, High Court Seeks Delhi's Reply

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Nitish Katara Case Convict Demands Parole, High Court Seeks Delhi's Reply

The court issued a notice to Delhi government and Nitish Katara's mother Neelam Katara. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the AAP government on the parole plea of Vishal Yadav, who is serving life term for killing business executive Nitish Katara in 2002.

Justice VK Rao issued notice to the Delhi government and Katara's mother Neelam Katara asking them to file their replies by the next date of hearing on June 11.

Delhi government was represented by its additional standing counsel Rajesh Mahajan.

Yadav has sought eight weeks emergency parole on the ground that he could get infected by COVID-19 or tuberculosis due to overcrowding and poor sanitation facilities in the prison.

He had in April moved a similar plea which was disposed of on May 2 by the high court by asking the "competent authority", which under the prison rules is the Lt Governor, to treat the petition as a representation and take a decision within 15 days.

On May 16, the competent authority rejected Yadav's plea for parole and against that order he has moved the high court.

The competent authority had rejected the plea on the ground that he has been awarded 25 years imprisonment without any remission. Yadav has sought quashing of the May 16 order.

He has contended that numbers of coronavirus cases was increasing at a high rate and there was a risk of infection to him inside the prison, especially since he was a tuberculosis (TB) patient in the past.

He has also contended in his plea that due to his prolonged TB infection, his immune system is weak and coupled with the poor sanitation facilities in prison, he would be vulnerable to coronavirus.

On October 3, 2016, the Supreme Court had awarded a 25-year jail term without any benefit of remission to Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal for their role in the sensational kidnapping and killing of Katara.

Another co-convict Sukhdev Pehalwan was also handed down a 20-year jail term in the case.

Prior to this, the Delhi High Court, while upholding the life imprisonment awarded to Vikas and Vishal Yadav by the trial court, had specified a 30-year sentence, without any remission, to both of them. It had awarded a 25-year jail term to third convict Pehalwan.

All three were convicted and sentenced for kidnapping Nitish Katara from a marriage party on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002 and then killing him for his alleged affair with Bharti Yadav, the sister of Vikas.

Bharti Yadav is the daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav who is in jail in connection with another murder case.

Katara was murdered as Vishal and Vikas Yadav did not approve of his affair with Bharti because they belonged to different castes, the lower court had said in its verdict.

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