NEW DELHI: Vikas Yadav, convicted for killing Nitish Katara, today told the Delhi High Court that "there is no evidence of pre-planning or cold-blooded premeditation" against him while submitting arguments against award of death penalty in the case.
"There is no evidence of pre-planning, cold blooded pre-meditation. The case is based entirely on last seen and other circumstantial evidence," a special bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha was told by the counsel appearing for Vikas, son of politician D P Yadav.
His lawyer also said that the crime was not brutal or barbaric and no dangerous weapons like a gun, or sword were used, rather a hammer was used, which will be a mitigating circumstance.
The lawyer also cited various judgements in which the Supreme Court had not awarded death penalty for the offence of murder. It was also argued that the convict has been behind bars for 12 years and his conduct in jail gives no reason to believe he can't be reformed.
Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev are serving life term 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 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.
Katara was abducted and killed by Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev as they did not approve of the victim's affair with Bharti because they belong to different castes, the court had said.
The high court had dismissed the appeals of the convicts and kept pending two separate pleas of the state and Neelam Katara seeking death penalty for them.
Both the police and Katara's mother have have demanded death penalty for the three accused in the case.