New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today declined early hearing of a parole plea moved by Vikas Yadav, serving 30 years jail term without remission for the murder of Nitish Katara, saying the application if taken after one month will not make any difference.
Justice A K Pathak refused to hear the plea early, even as Vikas's counsel Sumeet Verma contended that his client was “suffering” as his right under Article 14 (equality before law) is being violated.
The court, however, turned down the counsel's contention and asked whether “he can argue Article 14 in the criminal case” and how is he (Vikas) suffering.
On the court's query, Verma submitted that Vikas was not treated at par with other convicts and his plea is pending since August 2014.
Rejecting the argument, the court said, “One year and one month more will not make any difference. Whether you (convict) are happy or unhappy I will not prepone the date.”
The matter will heard on March 17, the judge added.
Vikas, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, has sought three months' parole on the ground that he has to visit his 93-year-old grandfather, who has undergone 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 said that he had approached the Delhi government to grant him parole under the special rights given to prisoners. However, no decision was taken and hence, he approached the High 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.