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Another death sentence for Koli

For rape and murder of seven-year-old Arti; this is the second of the 19 Nithari cases

He has earlier been sentenced to death in the Rimpa Haldar case

Victim's lawyer says he would move High Court against Pandher

Ghaziabad: Surinder Koli, a convict in the sensational Nithari killings case, was on Wednesday sentenced to death by a special CBI court here for rape and murder of seven-year-old girl Arti.

The death sentence for 38-year-old Koli, a domestic help of businessman and co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher, was awarded by special CBI Judge A. K. Singh in the Arti 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 death in the Rimpa Haldar case in the first verdict in the Nithari killings. However, Pandher was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court.

Koli, who was present in the court, broke down as the special judge pronounced the order sentencing him to death. He accused the 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.

Koli was also sentenced to seven years' 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 S. Tyagi said.

This conviction is the second 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 bungalow at Nithari in Noida in 2006.

Koli was named the lone accused in the charge-sheet 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 six cases.

Mr. Tyagi, who represented Arti's father Durga Prasad, said he would move an application in the Allahabad High Court against Pandher for his alleged involvement in the girl's killing. – PTI