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Facing execution any time this week following issuance of his death warrant, Nithari rape and killing cases convict Surinder Koli got a fresh lease of life from the Supreme Court, which at 1.30 am on Monday stayed his hanging for a week.
A bench of Justices H L Dattu and Anil R Dave, in an order issued under extraordinary circumstances, stayed Koli’s execution in a special bench sitting at 1.30 am in the wee hours of Monday.
It was the same bench, which had on July 24, refused to stay the execution, while also rejecting Koli’s review petition against confirmation of his death penalty by the Supreme Court. The hearing of the review petition was done in chamber.
However, a week later, a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court passed a landmark verdict, ruling that review petition of convicts facing capital punishment warranted an open court hearing since the issue pertained to the right to life. The court also said that all such death row convicts, whose review petitions had been rejected in chamber hearings but their curative petitions were yet to be decided, could file their review petitions for open court hearings afresh.
Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh moved the court a day ago, seeking stay on Koli’s execution in view of the SC Constitution bench verdict, and the court agreed to halt the execution.
The mercy plea of 42-year-old Kohli has recently been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee. On September 2, the trial court has issued his death warrant.
Koli, who killed and later axed children in Nithari locality of Noida in Uttar Pradesh, was awarded death sentence by a trial court, which was upheld by the Allahabad High Court. The Supreme Court confirmed it in February 2011 for the murder of a 14-year-old girl in 2005.
Holding that Koli, “appears to be the serial killer”, the court had said, “No mercy can be shown to him.”
A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli and his businessmen employer Moninder Singh Pandher (57), who was also sentenced to death in Rimpa Haldar case, but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court.
Out of 16 cases filed against Koli, he has been awarded death sentence in four of them so far and others are still under trial. Sisters Renukabai and Seema along with their mother and another accomplice Kiran Shinde, kidnapped 13 children between 1990 to 1996 and killed nine of them. However, the prosecution has been able to prove only five murders so far.surender koli


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