GHAZIABAD: A special CBI court in Ghaziabad on Friday awarded death sentence to Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli in yet another murder-cum-rape case.
The sentence has been pronounced two days after the court found him guilty in the 2006 murder case of 25-year-old Nanda Devi, who worked for Koli's landlord Moninder Singh Pandher. This is the sixth case in which Koli has been awarded capital punishment.
The series of murders and rapes took place in the house of businessman Moninder Singh Pandher in Nithari in 2005 and 2006. The killings were noticed in December 2006 when the skeletal remains of a number of missing children were discovered in Nithari village, on the outskirts of Noida.
According to public prosecutor J P Sharma, Koli, a servant of Pandher, had been booked in Nanda Devi case under four sections of IPC. "Under Section 302 (murder), he has been given death sentence and Rs 10,000 fine. Under Section 376 (rape), he has been awarded life imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine. Under Section 364, (abduction for murder), he has been given life imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine and finally under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), he has been given seven years of imprisonment and Rs 5,000 fine. If Koli fails to deposit the fine, he would have to undergo four additional years of rigorous imprisonment," said Sharma.
Meanwhile, Koli's lawyer Ali Mohd Maaz had sought a reprieve by invoking Section 329 of Criminal Procedure Code which says that a person cannot stand trial if he is of unsound mind. In such a case, a medical board is constituted on the direction of the court to assess the condition of the convict and only then can the court go ahead with the proceedings. However, the court turned down the plea.
"The prosecution by its own admission in previous hearings had said that my client is of unstable mind and in furtherance to that we wanted to invoke Section 329 of CrPC. However, the court turned down the plea," said Ali Md. Maaz.
Till now, Surinder Koli has been framed in 19 cases out of which CBI filed closure report in three for want of evidence. Even after that, it leaves 16 cases against Koli. Out of the 16 cases, the CBI court has held Koli guilty in six cases including the Nanda Devi case. The court in five earlier cases had awarded death sentence to him but the Allahabad High Court in January last year had commuted the death sentence awarded in the Rimpa Haldar case to life imprisonment. This led to UP government filing a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the high court order to commute death sentence to life imprisonment.
There are still ten cases against Koli in the CBI court which are in trial stage.
India is preparing to execute a man accused of killing and dismembering almost 20 young women and children in a case that was called the “house of horrors” murders. He admitted eating some of the body parts.