The Supreme Court of India whilst noting that it bears the powers to impose ‘special sentences’ has on Monday awarded a jail term of 25 years to the son of Uttar Pradesh’s politician D.P. Yadav, Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav convicted for their role in kidnapping and brutal killing of Nitish Katara in 2002.
The judges panel comprised of Justices Dipak Mishra and C Nagappan. They supported the judicial precedents that allow the jail sentences to be expanded over above the statutory minimum and maximum sentences prescribed in law. They also handed down a 20-year jail sentence to their co-convict Sukhdev Yadav also known as ‘Pehalwan’, in the murder case, who was initially granted 25-year jail term in the case by the high court.
The Katara murder case is termed as “honour killing”, as the MBA graduate and a son of the Railway official, Nitish Katara was murdered for being in a relationship with Vikas’s sister Bharti to which they opposed. The Supreme Court enhanced the convicts jail year term to 25 years in jail without remission for being involved in murder as well as destructing the evidence of the murder. Back in 2002 the crime had raised a public cry for justice as the honour killing was done in a very carefully planned and premeditated manner with utmost vengeance.
The verdict has also enhanced the fines that had been imposed on Vikas and Vishal by slapping an amount of Rs 54 lakh on each of them. The high court had on April 2, 2014, had upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as honour killing that stemmed from a deeply entrenched belief in the caste system.
Victim mother’s Neelam Katara hails the Supreme Court’s order and added that the apex court should have increased the term by ten years instead of decreasing it, and that there must be decriminalization of politics so that the common man do not have to suffer from their atrocities. The murder was no ordinary crime therefore deserves stringent punishment. She also believes that this is now the fight of Nitish and the youth of this country of right to choose partner and right choice of marriage.
We hope this case becomes a mark of the beginning of a change in the people who still go along the ridicules of the caste system to bar the youth of India.
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