LUCKNOW: The special CBI court of Ghaziabad on Friday pronounced death sentence to Moninder Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli while hearing case number 9 of the 16 cases of the infamous Nithari serial killings, committed in 2005 and 2006.
The court on Thursday had convicted both Pandher and Koli for rape and murder of a 25-year-old domestic help, Anjali. On Friday, it awarded the two accused with the death sentence.
The CBI court has also imposed a penalty of Rs 35,000 and Rs 25,000 on Koli and Pandher, respectively.
The CBI, probing the incident, had lodged FIRs in around 16 cases of serial rape and murder under Sections 302, 376, 364, 201 and 120 (B) of the IPC in December 2006.
The case pertains to the rape and murder of Anjali, the maid working at Pandher’s house in 2006. “This case falls under the category of rarest of rare and both deserve death penalty as there is no scope of reform or rehab of the convicts,” the CBI special judge Pawan Tiwari said while reading out the order.
Speaking to media after the pronouncement of the verdict, Koli said that he was being falsely implicated in the case and that he was not given a fair chance to present his side. “Even while the main complainant in the case, victim’s uncle – Arun Sircar – did not testify against me, I have been awarded death sentence. I was not heard properly by the court. I shall challenge this verdict in Allahabad High Court,” asserted Koli.
However, Pandher said he had expected the court to take a generous view in the case while awarding the punishment given his frail health. However, his lawyer said that in an earlier case pertaining to rape and murder of another victim Rimpa Haldhar, Pandher was awarded death sentence but he was acquitted by Allahabad HC. “This time again in similar circumstances, my client has again been given death sentence which we will challenge in High Court,” said Pandher’s lawyer.
The FIR in case number 9 was formally lodged after Anjali’s kin identified her blood-soaked clothes recovered from Pandher’s house. Afterwards, her identity was substantiated after her DNA samples were matched with her mother and brother.
Gruesome Nithari killings had come to light in 2006 with the recovery of over 19 skulls and skeletal remains, including a majority of children, from the vicinity of Pandher’s house and also the drain behind it in Nithari village of Noida.