ANI Photo | Nithari Killings: Allahabad HC acquits Surender Koli in 12 cases, Moninder Pandher in two

The Allahabad High Court on Monday acquitted the prime accused Surender Koli in 12 cases related to the 2005-2006 Nithari serial killing cases in Noida. The court also acquitted Moninder Singh Pandher, his employer, in two cases.
The trial court had awarded the death sentence to the accused in these cases. The CBI had registered 16 cases against Koli and Pandher over “the rape and killing” of girls that had shocked the nation.
The Nithari killing case came to light in December 2006 when skeletons were found in a drain near a house in Nithari village, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The lawyer of Pandher, Manisha Bhandari, said that there were six cases against him in which Allahabad HC acquitted him in the two appeals.
“Allahabad High Court has acquitted Moninder Singh Pandher in the two appeals against him. There were six cases against him. Koli has been acquitted in all appeals against him here,” she said.
Pandher was the co-accused in the cases.
The Supreme Court had in February 2011 upheld Surender Koli’s death sentence for murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar. She was one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode.
Subsequently, in July 2014, the apex court refused to stay the execution of the death sentence awarded to Koli and dismissed his plea seeking review of the verdict that upheld his sentence.
The CBI, in its chargesheet, had said that Koli raped and murdered the woman when she went to Pandher’s house on November 12, 2006, for household work.
After the investigations, the CBI filed a chargesheet on June 22, 2007. Charges were framed on August 16, 2007.
The family members of the victims said that the accused should be given the death penalty.
“The accused must get the death penalty. I urge the central and state governments… If they are set free, it means that there’s no law and order,” a member of the victim’s family told ANI.
The two-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice SHA Rizvi, allowed the appeals filed by Koli and Pandher challenging the death sentence given by the CBI court in Ghaziabad.
The High Court said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt in these specific cases.
It was alleged that Koli would lure the children to the house and murder them. He was also accused of cannibalism

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