Nithari serial killings National

Nithari killer’s execution stayed till Oct. 29

Police take Nithari serial killings convict Surinder Koli to a jail from a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Ghaziabad. File photo  

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the execution of Nithari serial killings convict Surinder Koli till October 29. A three-judge Bench led by Justice H.L. Dattu posted the > review petition filed by Koli, through counsel Indira Jaising, for detailed hearing on October 28.

The apex court allowed Ms. Jaising to inspect the records in the case and apply for certified copies of statements and confessions made by the accused. Koli is the first condemned man > to benefit from a September 3 majority judgment authored by Justice Rohinton Nariman for a Constitution Bench.

The judgment had held that Supreme Court judges should review the question of life and death of a condemned man in public glare rather in the privacy of their chambers. The verdict declared that counsel for the condemned man should be given an opportunity to present oral arguments for a 30-minute duration.

The Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha had observed that “the fundamental right to life and the irreversibility of a death sentence mandate that oral hearing be given at the review stage in death sentence cases”.

The September 3 verdict declared that the Supreme Court would hear afresh dismissed and pending review petitions of death row convicts, provided they are filed in a month's time from the date of the judgment.

Of the three judges, Justices Dattu and Anil R. Dave were on the original review Bench which had dismissed Koli's review petition on July 25, this year.

On Friday, Justice S.A. Bobde joined the review Bench as required by the September 3 verdict, which said the presence of a third judge would represent an independent and fresh opinion in a death row review.

The revised Supreme Court Rules also requires review petitions of death row convicts to be heard by a Bench of minimum three judges. Friday's hearing comes five days after Justices Dattu and Dave stayed the execution of Koli for a week in a midnight order, just hours before he was to be hanged at Chaudhary Charan Singh jail.

Koli, 42, was found guilty of serial rapes and murders between 2005 and 2006 at his employer, businessman Moninder Singh Pandher's house in Nithari. Remains of several missing children were found near the house.

Koli was sentenced to death in four cases and his death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2011.

Read: Ministry of Women and Child Development's >report on the Nithari killings

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 5:30:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-hears-nithari-killings-convict-kolis-plea/article6403787.ece

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