Allahabad HC acquits Nithari accused, overturns death penalty
The court has acquitted Surinder Koli in all 12 cases against him and also declared Moninder Singh Pandher innocent in two cases against him
The Allahabad High Court on Monday, 16 October acquitted the two prime accused in the infamous Nithari murder case.
The court found accused Surinder Koli innocent in the 12 cases against him, while co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher was found innocent in two cases against him.
With this, the death sentence awarded to Koli and Pandher stands cancelled.
The Nithari murder case, one of the most notorious criminal investigations in recent Indian history, involved the discovery of multiple human remains in and around Moninder Singh Pandher's residence in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in 2006.
It was alleged that Koli would lure the children to the house, offering them sweets and chocolates, murder them, and have sex with the corpses. He was also accused of cannibalism.
The gruesome details of the case sent shockwaves across the country and led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Koli and Pandher.
Surinder Koli, who was accused of brutally killing and later axing children in the Nithari locality of Noida, was awarded death sentence by a lower court which was upheld by the Allahabad High Court and confirmed by the Supreme Court on 15 February 2011 for the murder of Rimpa Halder in 2005.
Holding that Koli "appears to be the serial killer", the court had said, "No mercy can be shown to him."
A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli, and he was sentenced to death in twelve of them.
His employer, Moninder Singh Pandher was convicted in some cases arising out of the Nithari serial killings and acquitted in a few others.
Pandher had challenged the death sentence handed down in two of the cases by a trial court in the Allahabad High Court.
Published: 16 Oct 2023, 2:51 PM