“Complete 25 Years”: Top Court Rejects Nitish Katara Killer’s Parole Plea

Vikas Yadav, convicted in the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara, was denied parole today by the Supreme Court, which said, “Let him complete his 25-year sentence.”

Vikas Yadav, the son of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav, is serving time for the murder of Nitish Katara, a 25-year-old business executive who was dating his sister Bharti Yadav. His cousin Vishal Yadav was also convicted. Their jail term ends in 2027.

Vikas Yadav had sought four weeks’ parole. His lawyer argued in court that he had been in jail for 17 and a half years. “Why should you go on parole,” the court questioned. “It is his fundamental right,” replied Yadav’s lawyer.

“You have been sentenced to 25 years. Where is the fundamental right? Complete 25 years,” the Supreme Court countered.

Nitish Katara was kidnapped by Vikas and Vishal Yadav from a wedding and murdered near Delhi on February 16, 2002. The cousins were found guilty of killing Katara and burning the body to destroy evidence.

Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam Katara fought a long legal battle for justice.

The Delhi High Court in 2015 sentenced Vikas and Vishal Yadav to 30 years in jail, calling it an “honour killing” planned with “extreme vengeance”. The court did not sentence the two to death, as Neelam Katara had petitioned, saying the possibility of their reformation and rehabilitation was not “unforseeably foreclosed”.

In 2016, the Supreme Court reduced their sentence to 25 years without remission while noting that “Nitish Katara’s murder was committed in a planned and cold-blooded manner with the motive that has emanated due to feeling of some kind of uncalled for and unwarranted superiority based on caste.”