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Nitish Katara case: Accused asks HC to reject statement of key witness

Jul 17, 2012 20:58 IST

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New Delhi: Vishal Yadav, serving life term along with cousin Vikas for killing MBA graduate Nitish Katara in 2002, today contended before the Delhi High Court that Ajay Katara, a key prosecution witness, should be prosecuted for "perjury" for speaking "falsehood" before the court.

Appearing for Vishal before the bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani sought the court to reject his testimony and said "He (Ajay Katara) should be tried for perjury as the story given by him before the trial court is wholly false."

Referring to the testimony of Ajay Katara, the star prosecution witness, Jethmalani sought the court to reject the last-seen theory that Katara had seen the victim (Nitish Katara) in the company of Vikas and Vishal on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002.

"The court should demolish his story because it does not speak truth. It creates serious doubts," Jethmalani argued questioning Katara's statement that he had seen the deceased sitting with Vishal in the car Vikas was driving before the murder.

The Yadavs were convicted in 2008 by the trial court for kidnapping and later murdering Nitish Katara, son of an IAS officer, as they were against his affair with their sister Bharati Yadav.

The duo killed Katara on the intervening night 16-17 February, 2002, after abducting him from a marriage party in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad.

As per Ajay Katara's testimony, on February 16, 2002, night he was returning from Ghaziabad to his home in Delhi when his scooter had broken down and he was looking for some help when Vikas stopped his car.

He had claimed in the testimony that Vikas had asked him to remove his scooter from the road and also used some "uncivilised language" against him for being in middle of the road.

Katara further claimed in his statement that while taking down the car number he had seen a man (victim)in red 'kurta', who was sitting with Vishal in the car driven by Vikas.

Countering Katara's claim, the noted lawyer argued the prosecution witness had given his statement after seeing the victim's photograph which was flashed on television channels and he was also tutored by the prosecution.

"This statement was not enough to prove that the deceased was in the car. The theory against Vishal was also not true. It was a case of no evidence," Jethmalani said claiming his client (Vishal) was not inside the car.

Alleging that the trial court had failed to ask the accused about the uncivilised languages, the senior counsel submitted the court also did not consider the defence argument that the witness had got the Tata Safari car number from the investigating officer.

The lawyer, who sought the court to pass the order for re-trial saying that the trial court judge did not follow the proper procedure during the trial, would continue his argument tomorrow.

The court was hearing appeals of Vishal and Vikas Yadav, son of former MP D P Yadav, and hired killer Sukhdev Pehalwan, who are serving life term in Tihar.
Earlier, the counsel for Vikas had completed his final arguments on the appeal.

PTI

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