Third accused held guilty of Nitish Katara murder


New Delhi : A Delhi court Wednesday convicted Sukhdev Pehalwan for his involvement in the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara.

Support TwoCircles

Nitish’s mother has sought death penalty for him.

Additional Session Judge J.R. Aryan found Pehalwan, the third accused in the case, guilty of murder, abduction, destruction of evidence, conspiracy and common intention.

Pehalwan’s trial was separated from two convicts, Vikas and Vishal Yadav, as he could not be arrested till 2005.

“The case has been proved against you. That night, you were with Vikas and Vishal Yadav when the murder took place,” the court said.

The court posted the matter for arguments on the quantum of sentence Thursday.

The trial court in 2008 awarded rigorous life imprisonment to Vikas, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, and his cousin Vishal, for their role in the murder of Katara, a business executive and son of an Indian Administrative Service officer, for his proximity to their sister Bharti Yadav.

According to the prosecution, Pehalwan was present with co-convicts Vikas and Vishal in their car after they abducted Katara from a marriage function in Ghaziabad and killed him on the intervening night of Feb 16-17, 2002.

The case was shifted to a Delhi court by the Supreme Court on the request of Nitish Katara’s family.

Pehalwan was declared a proclaimed offender before being arrested. He was charge sheeted in April 2006.

The murder victim’s mother Neelam Katara, who was present in the court, welcomed the verdict, saying: “The court’s decision came as a big relief.”

Seeking death penalty for Pehalwan, she added: “He should be given death penalty as it is an honour killing case. My son was killed on the caste issue.”

“A Supreme Court order said that death penalty should be imposed in honour killing cases and it has been given in many states as well. Hence, I strongly think that death penalty should be given,” she said.