Supreme Court upholds Nithari serial killer Surendra Koli’s death sentence

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence to Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli for murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode six years back, saying the case was “horrifying” and “barbaric”.

A bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra confirmed the death sentence to 39-year-old Koli, who has also been awarded capital punishment by the trial court in three other cases of rape and killing of young women and children in Nithari village near Noida on the outskirts of the national capital.

A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli. His businessmen employer Moninder Singh Pandher was sentenced to death in Rimpa Haldar case but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court. 54-year-old Pandher is facing trial in other cases.

“In our opinion this case falls in the rarest of rare category and no mercy can be shown to him,” the bench said, while confirming Koli’s death sentence, which earlier had been endorsed by the Allahabad High Court.

Relying upon the Koli’s confessional statement, in which he had given “graphic details” of how he used to allure and kill young girls in Noida, the court said, “The confessions had been made voluntarily before the magistrate and there is no defect in it.”

The bench confirmed Koli’s death sentence, first awarded by CBI special court at Ghaziabad and later endorsed by the high court, dismissing his appeal in one of the first of the 16 cases.

This case pertains to the rape and murder of a minor girl Rimpa Haldar.

While confirming Koli’s death sentence, the apex court kept pending with itself the CBI appeal against acquittal of Pandher, saying any order passed against him or in his favour can have a bearing on remaining cases which are at the trial stage.

The bench said before deciding the CBI’s appeal, it would wait for the outcome of the trial of other cases in which Pandher is accused along with his servant Koli.

Koli was sentenced to death along with Pandher by the Ghaziabad court on February 13, 2009, and the Allahabad High Court had confirmed Koli’s death sentence on September 11, 2009 while acquitting Pandher of the charges.

Aggrieved, victim Rimpa’s father Anil Haldar had filed the appeal challenging Pandher’s acquittal and sought restoration of the death sentence awarded to him by the sessions court.

Rimpa had gone missing from her home in the neighbourhood of Pandher’s Noida residence in early 2005.

The case of Nithari serial killings came to light toward the fag end of December 2006, following discovery of human remains from a drain behind Pandher’s house in Noida. A subsequent and thorough search of the drain had kept yielding human remains and skeletons for over a week.

The case was initially probed by the Noida police but was later handed over to the CBI, which had registered a total of 19 FIRs related to the serial killing

High court to decide on Kasab death sentence Feb 21

The Bombay High Court Monday set Feb 21 as the date when it will pronounce its verdict on the death sentence awarded to Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The court announced that it will give its verdict Feb 21 confirming or commuting the death penalty of Kasab awarded by a lower court last year, said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The high court will also the same day decide on Kasab’s appeal against the award of death sentence to him by the lower court, his lawyer Farhana Shah said.

The matter came up before the Bombay High Court Monday for further directions in the case, the hearings on which were concluded three weeks ago.

In the final stages of the hearing in the high court, Kasab boycotted the proceedings after the judges rejected his request to be brought physically to the court.

In view of the security considerations in transferring him to and from the court, Kasab was made to appear before the court through a video-conference link set up in the high-security Arthur Road Central Jail.

At one of the initial hearings, Kasab displayed violent tendencies and attempted to spit at the video-camera. Refusing to accept the death sentence, Kasab also demanded that he should be sent to the US.

On Nov 26, 2008, Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists sneaked into south Mumbai through the Arabian Sea route and targeted various locations, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Hotel Trident-Oberoi, and Nariman House which housed the Jewish Chabad House.

The 60-hour mayhem left 166 people dead, including many foreign nationals, and over 300 injured