The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence to Surinder Koli for murdering a 14-year-old girl, one of his first victims in the serial killings at Nithari village on the outskirts of Delhi.

A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra, dismissing Koli's appeal after a 90-minute hearing, said: “The appellant appears to be a serial killer, and these killings in our opinion fall within the category of rarest of rare cases as laid down in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab, which has been subsequently followed in Atbir vs Government of NCT of Delhi.”

Virtual slaughterhouse

The Bench said the killings were “horrifying and barbaric. He used a definite methodology in committing these murders. He would see small girls passing by the house [D-5, Sector 31], and taking advantage of their weakness, lure them inside and he would strangulate them and after killing them he tried to have sex with the body and would then cut off their body parts and eat them. Some parts of the body were disposed of, thrown in the passage gallery and drain [nala], beside the house. D-5, Sector 31 had become a virtual slaughterhouse, where innocent children were regularly butchered.”

The Bench said no mercy could be shown to Koli, who had been awarded capital punishment by the trial court in three other cases also of rape and killing of young women and children at Nithari.

Sixteen cases were registered against him. Along with Koli, his employer Moninder Singh Pandher was cited as the co-accused.

Initially, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad, awarded the death sentence to Koli and Pandher. However, the Allahabad High Court, while confirming the death sentence on Koli, acquitted the other.

While Pandher is facing trial in other cases, the CBI filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against his acquittal.

The Bench said: “On the facts of the case, we see no reason to interfere with the findings of the trial court and the High Court that Koli is guilty of murdering the 14-year-old girl.”

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