Allahabad HC acquits Nithari serial killings case accused citing lack of evidence

The accused Surender Koli and Maninder Singh Pandher were sentenced to death

Mohinder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli (FIle) Mohinder Singh Pandher, outside the CBI court in Ghaziabad, after he and his domestic help Surendra Koli were convicted in one of the several cases pertaining to the Nithari serial murders case | PTI

The Allahabad High Court on Monday acquitted Surender Koli and Maninder Singh Pandher in the infamous Nithari serial killings case in Noida for lack of evidence. Both had been sentenced to death on charges of rape and murder.

A total of 19 cases were lodged against businessman Pandher and his domestic help Koli in 2007. The CBI had filed closure reports in three of the 19 cases due to lack of evidence.

Bar and Bench reported that the High Court has now acquitted Koli in 12 cases and Pandher in two cases. Both accused were sentenced to death in these cases.

The sensational serial killings case came to light when skeletal remains were discovered near a house in Nithari, Noida. On inquiry, police found Pandher was the house owner and Koli his domestic help. Reportedly, the serial killings happened between 2005 and 2006 and the victims also include minors. The skeletal remains of eight children were recovered from the drain behind Pandher's house on December 29, 2006.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case and according to reports, further inquiry and searches at house premises led to the discovery of more skeletons. The remains were said to be of poor women and children who had gone missing in the locality. Allegedly, Koli would lure the children into the house and he and Pandher would rape and murder the victims. The accused would then chop the victims’ and parts were thrown into the drain to destroy evidence.

According to reports, Koli was found guilty of rape and murder of minors and he reportedly confessed that he had physical intercourse with dead victims and also ate their body parts.

In 2009, in the case related to the murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, the High Court held Koli guilty and acquitted Pandher citing lack of evidence. However, the Court in 2015 commuted Koli’s death sentence to life imprisonment owing to inordinate delay in considering his mercy petition.

(With PTI inputs.)

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