The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI on the acquittal of Moninder Singh Pandher in one of the Nithari killings, in which several women and girls were raped, murdered, and some of them devoured by the main culprit Surinder Koli.

A Bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and Ranjan Gogoi sought the CBI's response on the acquittal, and posted the matter for further hearing after the summer vacation.

The apex court issued the notice to CBI after Counsel B. P. Singh Dhakray and Shakti Singh Dhakray, appearing for the father of one of the deceased, pleaded that the premier investigating agency be made a party to the case.

On February 15 last year, the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence to Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli, for murdering a 14-year-old, one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode six years ago, saying the case was “horrifying” and “barbaric”.

A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju (since retired) 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 more 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 businessman-employer Moninder Singh Pandher was sentenced to death in the case of the 14-year-old, but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court. Fifty-four-year-old Pandher is facing trial in some other cases.

Anil Haldar subsequently filed an appeal in the apex court, challenging Pandher's acquittal, which came up for hearing on Wednesday.

Voluntary confession

The apex court had earlier, upholding Koli's death penalty, said the convict, in his confessional statement, 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.”

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