New Delhi: Hailing the Supreme Court’s order for awarding 25 years of jail-term to convicts Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav, victim Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam Katara on Monday said the apex court should have increased the term by ten years instead of decreasing it, adding that there must be decriminalization of politics so that the common man does not suffer from their atrocities.
Asserting that the murder was not an ordinary crime, Neelam told ANI that honour crime would get stringent punishment.
“I am happy with the Supreme Court’s decision, qualitatively. Honour crime will get stringent punishment, it’s not ordinary crime. The court has asked to concurrently run the jail-term. It’s a relief and consolation prize for them. I think the court should have increased it to ten years rather than decreasing it by five years. Here proof wasn’t slippers or shoes but my son’s body which was destroyed. So, if I ask for 10 more years’ punishment it is not a big thing,” she added.
Neelam said now this is the fight of Nitish and the youth of this country of right to choice of partner and right to choice of marriage.
“I want decriminalization of politics because if criminals sit in the assemblies then the law and police administration favours them and people like us suffer,” she added.
Meanwhile, asserting that this was a case of misplaced sympathy for the sister, senior advocate KTS Tulsi said it wasn’t a crime of greed or passion or a crime which is barbaric.
“In this case, to enhance the normal term without remission seemed excessive. I think the Supreme Court has done the right thing by reducing the term. If they behave then remission is actually a strategy of reforming a person,” he added.
“The other thing the high court had done was that various other offences were involved.that they awarded the sentence consecutively. The high court had perhaps taken a very stern view but the Supreme Court has restored the balance,” he said.
The apex court earlier on Monday modified the sentences of Vikas and Vishal and reduced their jail terms to 25 years.
The apex court sentenced another accused Sukhdev Yadav alias Pehelwan to 20 years in prison.
An apex court division bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra passed the order after hearing a detailed argument from both sides – the prosecution as well as the defence.
The top court ordered that the jail sentence would run concurrently not consecutively.
The apex court had on August 17, 2015, upheld the conviction of Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev, saying ‘only criminals are crying for justice’ in this country.
The three convicts were serving a life-term awarded by the lower court in May 2008 for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and the son of a railway officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim’s relationship with Bharti, Vikas’ sister and the daughter of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav.
The Delhi High Court had on April 2, 2014, upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case and described the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in the caste system.