Man killed for loving the wrong girl
17 Feb 2002
- On the night of February 17, Nitish Katara was murdered by Vikas Yadav, the son of former parliamentarian DP Yadav, and his cousin Vishal Yadav, for having an "intense relationship" with Vikas's sister Bharti.
- They allegedly picked him up after a wedding of a friend, and proceeded to beat him to death.
- Having doused his body with diesel, they then set it on fire.
The brutal murder is discovered
20 Feb 2002
- On 20th February, Katara's burnt body was discovered near Hapur crossing in Khurja, a village in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh.
- The Tata Safari which was used in the murder was later discovered near GT Road, Karnal; suspicion fell on the brothers.
- On 31st March, the police filed a chargesheet, naming Vikas and Vishal as the accused.
- Bharti, the sister, was sent away to the UK.
The brothers weren't alone
- The two brothers were arrested in April 2002 from Madhya Pradesh.
- In August, the Katara case was transferred to a court in Delhi after the mother of the victim, Neelam, expressed fears of an unfair trial in Ghaziabad.
- In November, a third accused came up in the murder, contract killer Sukhdev Pehalwan.
- A separate trial was started against him, after his arrest in 2005.
Bharti- the prime witness gives her evidence
- In 2006, Bharti, who had fled to the UK, returned after repeated summons by court and finally, threats to name her as proclaimed offender in the case.
- The case for the prosecution was given a boost by Bharti's return .
- In 2007, they declared that the relationship between Bharti and Katara, which the Yadav family was opposed to, was the reason for his murder.
Convicted brothers found guilty
28 May 2008
- On 28 May, the brothers were found guilty of the murder.
- On 30 May, the court delivered a life imprisonment sentence against them.
- In 2010, Sukhdev was also found guilty for his role in the murder; he was convicted in 2011.
- In 2011, Neelam Katara, the mother of Nitish, called the murder an "honour killing"; she later asked for the death penalty for them.
A long-drawn and controversial case
The rather high profile case has been delayed for over thirteen years with much controversy. There were supposed threats and attempts on the life of Nitish's brother and accusations of perjury against Ajay Katara, a key witness for the prosecution.
Court increases term of life-imprisonment
6 Feb 2015
- After several appeals by the accused and pleas for the death penalty by Neelam, the Delhi High Court on 6 February finally enhanced the life imprisonment sentence of the two brothers.
- The brothers have to spend 30 years in prison, without remission.
- Sukhdev Pehelwan was also given life imprisonment for 25 years.
- A penalty of ₹5 lakhs was also imposed on the Yadavs.
Life imprisonment for Vikas Yadav upheld
17 Aug 2015
- The Yadav's plea against their life imprisonment sentence has been turned down by the Supreme Court.
- The enhancement of their life sentence and the additional five years added to their term in prison has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
- Justices JS Khehar and AK Goel have however agreed to consider a plea to reduce the length of the sentence.
SC rejects honor killing angle in Katara case
10 Oct 2015
- The SC ruled out death sentence or incarceration for life to convicts Vikas and Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehelwan in the Nitish Katara case.
- The SC quashed Katara's mother's plea saying that the battery was not a case of "honour killing or committed in a heinous manner."
- The court said that the murder was 'planned' but death penalty did not apply.
Katara's mother makes a vociferous plea against Yadav's parole
10 Mar 2016
- Neelam Katara told the Delhi HC that if her son's convicted killer Vikas Yadav was released on parole "he may kill someone else".
- The submission was made before Justice Siddharth Mridul in opposition to Vikas's request for a month's parole to sell his ancestral land in Uttar Pradesh.
- Further, she submitted reports showing how Yadav was still trying to 'manipulate' and 'misuse' the system.
SC confirms life imprisonment for convicts in Nitish Katara case
03 Oct 2016
- The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi HC judgement of February 2015 and ruled that Vikas and Vishal Yadav, convicted for murder and abduction of Nitish Katara, would serve 25 years in prison.
- A petition filed by the victim's mother in the SC asking that they be given the 'death penalty' was rejected.
- The victim's mother was however satisfied with the long prison-term awarded.
Nitish Katara case: Timeline of how the trial unfolded | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
Nitish Katara murder case: HC rejects death plea, but enhances punishment of killers - The Times of India
Nitish Katara murder case: SC upholds conviction of Vikas Yadav, Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehalwan - The Times of India