Pandher, his servant Koli get death for Nithari killings

Surendra Koli and Moninder Pandher being taken to jail after judgment

Businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and domestic help Surinder Koli, convicted in the 2006 Nithari serial rape and murder cases, were produced in special CBI court in Ghaziabad amid heavy police security on Monday.

Her murder case was described in court as the "rarest of the rare", a criterion for the passing of the death sentence in India. Koli and Pandher were pronounced guilty by the CBI court in the murder and attempted rape of a 20-year-old girl. The CBI registered a case against both the accused on December 29, 2006 and they have confessed to charges of raping, killing and cannibalism.

Koli and Pandher were present in the court during the sentencing.

Special judge Pawan Kumar Tiwari, who had convicted the duo on Saturday, handed down the sentence after which Pandher, who was out on bail, was taken into judicial custody. Prior to this case, Koli was sentenced to death in all the nine cases. The rest eight cases are at different stages of trial.

According to the prosecution, on October 5, 2006, the victim was on her way to home from work when she was abducted, raped, and killed by the accused.

The defence lawyer Devraj Singh pleaded for the minimum punishment of Pandher as is ailing from high blood pressure and is diabetic. Koli lured her inside where she was killed and beheaded. The court said that when Pandher "would bring call girls", Koli would "cook food for them" while Pandher "would drink with these girls".

Pandher came out of prison in 2014 after he moved the Allahabad High Court.

The CBI had filed the case after the victim's parents identified her clothes in April 2007 and later some of the skeletal remains were identified by matching the DNA samples with her parents.

Both he and his employer have been at the centre of allegations regarding the deaths of as many as 40 women and children, in Nithari, a village in Noida, bordering New Dehli.

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