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Nithari killings: Surendra Koli, Moninder Pandher acquitted in many cases, death penalty overturned

A series of gruesome murders of young children and women were reported, sending shockwaves throughout the region. The duo, Surendra Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher, were accused of being the perpetrators behind these heinous acts.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: October 16, 2023 12:52 IST
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Surendra Koli, who has been convicted and sentenced to death in nine cases of rape and murder of women in Noida's Nithari village.

The Allahabad High Court has acquitted the key accused, Surendra Koli, in a series of twelve cases for which he had previously been awarded the death penalty by a lower court. Furthermore, his co-accused, Moninder Singh Pandher, has also been absolved of culpability in two cases in which he had received a death sentence.

The Nithari serial killings case sent shockwaves across the nation due to its gruesome and heinous nature. The horrific crimes transpired in Nithari, a locality in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and came to light in December 2006. 

Nithari murder case

The Nithari murder case, one of the most chilling criminal investigations in recent Indian history, involved the gruesome discovery of numerous human remains in and around Moninder Singh Pandher's residence in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in 2006. The horrifying details of the case sent shockwaves across the nation and led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Koli and Pandher.

Surinder Koli, accused of the brutal killings and dismemberment of children in the Nithari locality of Noida, had received a death sentence from a lower court. This verdict was subsequently upheld by the Allahabad High Court and confirmed by the Supreme Court on February 15, 2011, specifically for the murder of Rimpa Halder in 2005.

Koli identified as a "serial killer" 

In its ruling, the court had unequivocally identified Koli as a "serial killer" and had pronounced that "no mercy can be shown to him." Out of the total sixteen cases registered against Koli, he had been sentenced to death in twelve.

Meanwhile, Moninder Singh Pandher, Koli's employer, had faced convictions in some cases stemming from the Nithari serial killings and acquittals in others. Pandher had contested the death sentences handed down in two of the cases in a trial court, leading to their review by the Allahabad High Court.

The acquittal of both Koli and Pandher has reignited debates about the complexities and challenges encountered by the Indian legal system in high-profile cases. The Nithari murder case had drawn widespread attention due to its gruesome details and the lengthy legal procedures and appeals involved. This recent decision by the Allahabad High Court is likely to prompt further discussions about the nuances of the case and the functioning of the justice system in handling such complex and sensitive matters.

(Reported by Imran)

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