A CBI court here on Friday sentenced businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his aide Surendra Koli to death in one of the Nithari serial rape-murder cases. Pronouncing the judgment, Special CBI Judge P.K. Tiwari noted that Koli and Pandher were involved in the rape and murder of housemaid Anjali in 2006, and they deserved be punished in the strictest manner. Since Pandher was involved in the crime along with his domestic help, he is also liable for the maximum punishment as described in law and that is death, the judge ruled. Koli had dragged the victim inside the house and made her unconscious, raped her, and then ate her flesh, therefore death sentence is the only option in law. Both are to be hanged till death, the judge said. Both are to be taken in judicial custody, he added.
On Thursday, the court held both guilty under Sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or false information) of the Indian Penal Code. The two are the main accused in the case in which many children were abducted, sexually assaulted and killed inside the Noida house of Pandher. The CBI did not charge sheet Pandher in the case but the court had summoned him as accused under provision of 319 of CrPc and convicted him along with his domestic help. In this case, the 25-year-old maid did not return home on October 12, 2006. Her missing complaint was lodged in the police station.
When Koli was arrested on December 29, 2006 for the first time he made police recover some skulls from the rear of the house. One of skulls recovered matched with the DNA of Anjali’s mother and brother. This was the strongest evidence in the case to prove him guilty, said prosecution lawyer J.P. Sharm. The clothes were also identified by the family members of the victim, which made the court hold them guilty, the lawyer added. This is the third case in which Pandher has been sentenced to death, while Koli had been found guilty in eight other cases decided earlier and given the death sentence. Chargesheets were filed against the two accused in 16 of the 19 cases, out of which now 10 cases have been decided.