The Delhi High Court on Monday took up appeals of Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav for hearing in the Nitish Katara murder case with the counsel for Vikas Yadav challenging evidence of the prosecution witnesses on his presence at the Hapur toll tax collection centre at midnight on the date of the incident.

Making submission before a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice J.R. Midha and Justice Gita Mittal, his counsel stated that there were discrepancies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses as Vikas as well as Nitish Katara were seen at the place of the incident well past midnight on that day.

The Bench took up the appeals for hearing on a plea by Vikas Yadav for their expeditious disposal. The two are serving life term in the case.

Along with the appeals, the Bench will also hear Neelam Katra's plea for enhancement of the sentence of life imprisonment awarded by the trial court to the two convicts in 2008 to capital punishment. Neelam Katara is the mother of Nitish Katara.

A trial court had in 2008 sentenced the two to life imprisonment, holding them guilty of kidnapping and later killing Nitish Katara, the son of an erstwhile IAS officer here, because they were opposed to Bharti Yadav's alleged affair with him. Bharti Yadav is the sister of Vikas Yadav.

Vikas Yadav in his appeal has argued that it was an acquittal case. He could not be held guilty for the murder charge at all, if he could be convicted at all, it could be for culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge which invites a maximum sentence of 10 years of which he had spent a substantial part, the appeal says.

The argument will continue tomorrow. The Bench is hearing the two appeals on day-to-day basis.

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