A special CBI court on Tuesday held businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s domestic help Surender Kohli guilty in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old in one of the 19 cases of Nithari killings.
Special Additional District and Session Judge A.K. Singh, who convicted Kohli in the murder case, is expected to pronounce the quantum of sentence on Wednesday.
The case is the second of the 19 cases of rape and murder of children and a young woman in which the special court has pronounced its verdict. The crimes occurred in Nithari village in Uttar Pradesh in 2006.
Kohli (38) was named as the sole accused in connection with the brutal murder of the seven-year-old girl in the chargesheet filed by CBI after it took over the probe into Nithari killings from the local police. In all, 46 witnesses were produced in 113 hearings in the murder case, in which the child’s body parts were found in a drain.
Kohli was on February 13, 2009 sentenced to death in another case along with Pandher. However, Pandher was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court on September 11, 2009.
The girl went missing in June 2006 and a few months later her body was found from the vicinity of Pandher’s D-31 bungalow in Nithari in Noida along with bodies of 17 other children and a young woman. Thereafter, 19 cases were registered.
Kohli has been charged with rape, abduction and murder in all the cases while Pandher, his employer behind whose bungalow the body parts were found, is co-accused in six cases. CBI however gave a clean chit to Pandher.
Kohli, who was in the court, was quiet and looked serious after being held guilty in the first Nithari killing case. He broke down last year after being convicted in rape and murder case of the 14-year-old girl.
“Kohli has been found guilty under Sections 302 (murder), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of Indian Penal Code. Hearing for sentencing will be held tomorrow,” Kohli’s lawyer, J.P. Singh said.
The seven-year-old's father accused the CBI of not allowing him to give complete statement which led to the acquittal of co-accused Pandher. “Until now CBI has not allowed me to give my complete statements. If I had given it, then the court would have found Pandher guilty... Pandher and Kohli were conspirators,” he said.