The Delhi high court on Friday granted seven days custody parole to Vikas Yadav, serving 30 years jail term without remission for the murder of Nitish Katara, saying the convict will not move out of the territorial jurisdiction of the national capital.
“The petitioner (Vikas) is granted a custody parole for a week. He be taken into custody to his south Delhi farm house and even to meet his lawyer,” Justice A K Pathak said, adding that police will always accompany him in plain clothes.
Vikas, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, had sought three-months parole to visit his 93-year-old grandfather who has undergone an angioplasty. He said that he has been in jail for the past 13 years and his conduct has been good throughout.
Vikas also said that he wishes to challenge in the Supreme Court, the high court verdict in the murder case and requires time to prepare his appeal.
He submitted that he had approached the Delhi government to grant him parole under the special rights given to prisoners. However, the state government has declined his request.
Vikas’s counsel Sumeet Verma contended that his client was “suffering” as his right under Article 14 (equality before law) is being violated.
Verma submitted that Vikas was not treated on par with other convicts and his plea is pending since August 2014.
Vikas’ counsel contended that he is not a terrorist and he be released on parole while imposing any kind on condition the court find proper. He will abide by each and every condition and is even ready to visit the Vasant Kunj south police station on a daily basis.
Rajesh Mahajan, representing Delhi police, vehemently opposed Vikas’ plea for parole, saying this kind of suggestion is totally unacceptable.
Mahajan said that during the investigation of the case, the trial and while being in jail, the convict has not shown any sign of remorse and repentance.
“Vikas has always misused the freedom and has shattered the confidence of the court. There is an apprehension that the convict may threaten the witness and the complainant of the case, who are till date under police protection,” the counsel for Delhi police said.
Agreeing with the Delhi police counsel’s submission, the court observed that even the division bench, while deciding the appeal of Vikas, has pointed out that he always came in way of investigation and has even not allow the witness Bharti Yadav to depose in court.
The high court on February 6 had enhanced the sentence for Vikas and his cousin Vishal from life imprisonment to 25 years without remission for the murder of Nitish Katara and five more years for destruction of evidence in the case.
Yadavs’ acquaintance Sukhdev Yadav alias Pehelwan was also awarded an enhanced life sentence of 20 years without remission by the high court.
The three were awarded life term by a trial court for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002. They did not approve of the victim’s affair with Bharti, daughter of D P Yadav.
The high court had on April 2, 2014 upheld the verdict of the lower court in the case by describing the offence as “honour killing” stemming from a “deeply-entrenched belief” in caste system.