Surinder Koli, a convict in the sensational Nithari killings case, was today sentenced to death by a special CBI court here for raping and murdering seven-year-old girl.
The death sentence to 38-year-old Koli, a domestic help of businessman and accused Moninder Singh Pandher, was awarded by special CBI judge A.K. Singh in the case, the second of the 19 cases of the Nithari killings.
He was handed down the capital punishment under Section 302 (murder) of IPC along with life imprisonment under Section 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder). He was also slapped a fine of Rs 3,000.
Koli and Pandher were on February 13, 2009, sentenced to the death in an earlier case, the first verdict in the Nithari killings. However, Pandher was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court on September 11, last year.
Koli, who was present in court, broke down as the special judge pronounced the order sentencing him to death. He accused CBI, which investigated the cases, of intentionally involving him to give a clean chit to Pandher, who, he claimed, used to entertain government officials and politicians at his residence.
The court had convicted him in the case on May 4.
Koli was also sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment each under Section 376 (rape), Section 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) and Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of IPC.
“All sentences will run concurrently,” the lawyer for the victim’s family Sanjay Tyagi said.
The Wednesday’s conviction is the second out of the total of 19 cases related to rape and murder of children and a young woman, whose body parts were found in a drain behind Pandher’s D—31 bungalow in Nithari in Noida in Uttar Pradesh in 2006.
Koli was named as the lone accused in the chargesheet filed by CBI which gave a clean chit to Pandher after it took over the probe into the killings from the local police.
In all 46 witnesses were produced in 113 hearings in the Arti case. Koli has been charged with rape, abduction and murder in all the 19 cases while Pandher is a co-accused in 6 cases.
The court was to deliver its verdict in this case on May 5 but it was postponed till Wednesday following the strike by lawyers.
Tyagi, who represented the victim's father, said after the judgement that he would move an application against Pandher for his alleged involvement in the girl’s killing.
“We will move an application against Pandher in the Allahabad High Court,” he said.