The Supreme Court today sought response of Nithari serial killings case convict Surender Koli on a plea of the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court verdict that commuted his death penalty to life term earlier this year.
A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Amitava Roy and Arun Mishra issued notice to Koli on the UP government’s petition against the high court order that had rapped it up for “inordinate delay” in deciding Koli’s mercy petition.
On January 28, this year, the Allahabad High Court had commuted the death sentence, awarded to Koli, to life term in the murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar.
Koli was sentenced to death by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad on February 13, 2009.
The high court had passed the order while allowing a PIL filed by People’s Union for Democratic Rights, clubbed with another petition filed by Koli himself.
Both the petitions had questioned the constitutionality of the execution of the death sentence in the light of the fact that Koli has been in jail for more than seven years and that the time taken in deciding his mercy petition alone was “three years and three months”, violative of the Right to Life granted in Article 21 of the Constitution.
Rimpa’s murder came to light in December 2006, when many children from Nithari went missing over a period of time and skeletons were recovered from near the residence of Koli’s employee, Noida-based businessman Moninder Singh Pandher.