Nithari Case: Prime Accused Surendra Koli, Moninder Singh Acquitted By The Allahabad High Court
Prayagraj, October 16 (TNA) In a big development, the Allahabad High Court (HC) on Monday let off the two accused in the infamous Noida Nithari case. The court Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice SAH Rizvi acquitted caretaker Surendra Koli and owner of Kothi D 5, Moninder Singh Pandher.
The Allahabad High Court had reserved its verdict after completion of the arguments of both the parties on the appeals against the death sentence given to Nithari case accused Maninder Singh Pandher and Surinder Koli. Various division benches conducted a long hearing of 134 days.
Koli is accused that he as the caretaker of Pandher Kothi used to lure girls to the Kothi. Dozens of girls from Nithari village went missing. He used to rape and murder them. He would cut the dead body into pieces and throw it out. In the famous Nithari case of Noida, Koli has been sentenced to death by the lower court in more than a dozen cases. This episode is from the year 2005-06.
The case began to unravel when the father of a girl who had left home in search of a job lodged a missing report of her daughter at Sector-20 police station in Noida. A heart-wrenching incident came to light during the police investigation.
Police had recovered dozens of skeletons of children and women from the drain behind the house of Moninder Singh Pandher, resident of Nithari. The police had made Moninder Singh and his servant Surendra Koli accused. The case was transferred to CBI while the police were investigating. The CBI had registered a total of 16 cases of kidnapping, rape and murder against the two.
Ghaziabad-based CBI court has sentenced Surendra Koli to death in more than a dozen cases. However, the Supreme Court has put a stay on the execution of the death sentence. Koli has challenged all the orders of death sentence in Allahabad High Court. The pending appeal has been debated several times, but due to various reasons the hearing could not be completed.
Koli's lawyer, who had come from Mumbai, had declared the prosecution's story to be beyond truth on the very first day of the hearing. Koli's lawyer argued that Koli had confessed to the crime due to police torture.
When and what happened in the Nithari incident
On 29 December 2006, the skeletons of 19 children and women were found in the drain behind the house of Moninder Singh Pandher in Noida. Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli arrested.
On 8 February 2007, Koli and Pandher were sent to 14-day CBI custody.
In May 2007, the CBI had acquitted Pandher in its charge sheet in the kidnapping, rape and murder cases. Two months later, after being reprimanded by the court, the CBI made him a co-accused in the case. On 13 February 2009, a special court found Pandher and Koli guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl and sentenced them to death. This was the first decision.
On September 3, 2014, the court also issued a death warrant against Koli. On September 4, 2014, Koli was transferred from Dasna jail to Meerut jail for hanging. Surendra Koli was to be hanged before 12 September 2014. Death Penalty Litigation Groups, a group of lawyers, filed a review petition on Koli's death sentence. The Supreme Court sent the case to Allahabad High Court.
On September 12, 2014, the Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of Surendra Koli till October 29.
On October 28, 2014, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition on the hanging of Surendra Koli. In 2014, the President also canceled the mercy petition. On January 28, 2015, Koli's death sentence in the murder case was commuted to life imprisonment by the Allahabad High Court.
38 witnesses appeared during the hearing on 305 dates
When other cases of Nithari incident came to light, this case was also taken over by CBI on January 11. CBI presented the charge sheet in the court on 26 July 2007. The case was heard in the CBI court for 305 days. During this period the prosecution presented a total of 38 witnesses.