A special bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha also imposed a penalty of Rs 50 lakh each on Vikas, son of UP politician D P Yadav, and his cousin Vishal for the murder.

The court also increased the jail term of another convict Sukhdev Pehelwan to 25 years, saying all of them will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment without any remission behind bars except for the additional five years.

The judges turned down the plea moved by Nitish's mother Neelam Katara and Delhi police seeking gallows for the three convicts.

ALSO READ: Nitish Katara murder case cost Rs 5.8 crore to exchequer

Neelam Katara, who was present during the pronouncement of the order on sentence, later expressed disappointment over rejection of the plea for death penalty but was happy with the enhancement of the sentence.

"I will appeal against the order in the Supreme Court," she said, adding that she does not require the compensation amount awarded by the court as she feels that no numerical value can be put on the life of her son.

The court, in its over 700-page judgement said that the time spent by Vikas in hospital (October 10, 2011 to November 4, 2011) shall not be counted as period already undergone by him in jail.

It also asked the Centre and the state government to conduct an inquiry into the convicts' visits to the hospital during their stay in jail.

Vikas, his cousin Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehelwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and the son of a railway officer, on the night of February 16-17, 2002, as they opposed the victim's affair with Bharti, daughter of D P Yadav.

Nitish Katara case chronology

Following is the chronology of events in the 13-year-old Nitish Katara murder case in which Delhi High Court today upheld the life term awarded to Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Pehelwan:

Feb 16-17, 2002: Vikas and Vishal Yadav allegedly abduct Nitish Katara from a wedding in Ghaziabad at night and kill him for his intimacy with their sister Bharti Yadav.

Feb 20: Nitish's body found near Hapur crossing in Khurja village in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. Police finds Vikas and Vishal as immediate suspect. Bharti leaves for United Kingdom.

Mar 11: Tata Safari, used in the murder, recovered.

Mar 31: UP Police files four-page charge sheet.

Apr 23: Vikas and Vishal arrested from Madhya Pradesh.

Aug 23: Supreme Court directs transfer of case from a
Ghaziabad court to a Delhi court on the plea of victim's
mother, Neelam Katara.

Nov 23: Delhi court frames charges. A separate trial
ordered against third accused, Sukhdev Pehelwan.

Apr 7, 2003: Summons issued for Bharti by court requiring
her presence for recording her statement.

Nov 25, 2006: Three years after notice and summons, prime
witness Bharti Yadav returns to India.

Dec 2007: Prosecution wraps up final arguments claiming
Bharti's alleged proximity to Nitish was the cause for murder.

Apr 23: Trial concludes in court.

May 28: Court finds Vikas and Vishal guilty of murder.

May 30: Court awards life term to Vikas and Vishal.

July 1: Nitish's mother Neelam approaches Delhi High Court seeking death penalty for Vikas and Vishal.

Sept 5: Vikas and Vishal files appeal in HC challenging the trial court verdict.

Jul 6, 2011: Trial court convicts Sukhdev, who was arrested in 2005, in the case.

Jul 10: Court awards life imprisonment to Sukhdev.

Apr 16, 2013: HC reserves judgement on appeals filed by Neelam, three convicts and prosecution.

Apr 2, 2014: HC upholds conviction of Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev, says it was a case of honour killing.

Dec 8: HC concludes hearing arguments on sentence against the convicts, reserves order.

Feb 6, 2015: HC upholds life term of Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev with a condition that there will be no remission till 25 years for the offence of murder for Yadavs while Sukhdev will not be entitled for it before 20 years. Additional five years jail term will run consecutively for destruction of evidence against all three.

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