Welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision staying Nithari killings convict Surinder Koli’s death sentence, a lawyer representing the victims’ families Thursday said now the Allahabad High Court’s “fault” of acquitting Koli’s employer Moninder Singh Pandher for the 2006 killings would “come out in the open”.
The apex court Thursday stayed Koli’s death sentence for raping and killing 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar from Nithari in Noida near the national capital.
“This is a very good decision. Since this is an appeal from the convict the court has to stay the execution before following any further legal procedure. This is actually an advantage for us and the victims’ families because the court will revaluate the evidence submitted before the High Court and lower courts before,” Khalid Khan, a lawyer representing the Nithari victims, told IANS.
Khan said the Supreme Court could revaluate “common evidence” against Pandher again.
“The Supreme Court’s decision will be conclusive and we are hoping that the same sentence is handed to both convicts,” said Khan adding that “the Allahabad High Court’s fault in acquitting Pandher would be brought out (in the open).”
Haldar was one of the 19 young women and children from Nithari whose body parts were found in a drain behind the bungalow of Koli’s employer Moninder Singh Pandher in December 2006. Though both Pandher and Koli were sentenced to death by the trial court, the Allahabad High Court in September 2009 acquitted Pandher of the crime, but confirmed Koli’s death sentence.
A Special Leave Petition challenging the acquittal of Moninder Singh Pandher filed by Anil Haldar, father of Rimpa Haldar is likely to come up for hearing in the coming week, Khan added.
The petition submitted that the high court had erroneously acquitted Pandher based on the same circumstantial evidence on which Koli had been given the death sentence.