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Home > News > PTI

Katara case: SC pulls up Vikas for contempt

December 05, 2006 00:02 IST

The Nitish Katara murder case took a fresh turn on Monday with the Supreme Court seeking replies from prime accused Vikas Yadav and his cousin Vishal Yadav following complaints that the duo were intimidating Special Public Prosecutor S S Joon with legal threats.

A bench comprising Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice D K Jain took exception to the allegations and warned the accused's counsel that such actions could invite contempt proceedings.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam complained that the two accused through their advocate had issued notices to Joon seeking Rs 20 crores as damage for giving certain interviews in the media on the case.

The ASG submitted that the accused issuing a notice to a public prosecutor appearing in the case was highly objectionable as the purpose was to demoralise and intimidate him.

In the interviews, Joon had questioned the veracity of faxed message claimed to have been sent by key witness Bharti Yadav, Vikas' sister, in which she offered to depose from UK through video conferencing.

Subramaniam, who intervened in the matter following an application moved by Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish, told the court that the legal notice to Joon was sent on November 17, four months after the interviews solely with the intention of intimidating and harassing the Special Public Prosecutor.

He alleged S K Saxena, the previous special PP, was also forced to withdraw from the case due to similar harassment and intimidation.

The ASG reminded the court that Joon was appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor to conduct the high-profile case on January 19, 2006 on a specific direction from the apex court.

Earlier, in an application moved before the court, Neelam Katara alleged the accused had foisted false criminal cases against Saxena, which eventually forced him to withdraw from the case.

When the Bench sought clarifications from the accused's counsel, he could not give any satisfactory reply, following which it remarked, "your action borders on contempt."

The apex court granted two weeks to the accused's counsel to file replies on behalf of the duo and posted the matter for further hearing.

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