Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For horrific murders, Koli deserves death: SC

Delay In FIR In 1st Case Led To Other Killings: Koli’s Counsel
New Delhi: Death by hanging is the just punishment for Nithari’s serial killer of minor girls and self-confessed cannibal Surendra Koli, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday while upholding the Allahabad High Court judgment.
Koli’s confession before a magistrate proved to be the unimpeachable evidence against himself — graphically describing how he lured minor girls inside the Noida house, strangulated them, sexually abused the bodies, dismembered them and sometimes cooked a few parts and ate them.
A Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said the guilt was clearly established on the basis of the confessional statement.
When it asked Koli’s counsel Sushil Balwada to argue on the punishment for the crime, the advocate said, “If the police had registered the FIR promptly after the first girl went missing from Nithari, then lives of 18 other girls could have been saved.”
The Bench was taken by surprise and reacted, “You mean to say, if the police did not register the FIR, it conferred a right on you to commit murder after murder? What kind of argument is this?”
On the rarest of rare category of murder cases marked by violence, brutality and heinousness warranting imposition of death penalty, the court agreed with additional solicitor general Vivek Tankha that Koli’s crime in killing Rimpa Haldar in February 2005 certainly fitted the classification.
“This crime has no precedent. It’s brutal, heinous and gruesome,” said Justice Katju before the Bench dismissed Koli’s appeal against the HC judgment.
However, it admitted a petition filed by Rimpa’s father Anil Haldar, who challenged the acquittal of Moninder Singh Pandher in the case.
Pandher had employed Koli in his Sector 31 house in Noida, where all the murders took place in 2005. Pandher was convicted and awarded death penalty by the trial court but the HC had acquitted him. Haldar’s counsel alleged that the CBI was doing a cover job for Pandher and it was unimaginable that so many murders took place and the house owner had no inkling of them.
The Bench found merit in the argument and said, “You are the owner and we find it difficult to believe that for two years, murders were taking place but you were not aware of it. It is just not one murder, but some 18 or 19 of them. A serial killer was at work in the house. Minor girls were lured inside and killed one after the other and you lived in the same house totally oblivious of it.”
When Pandher’s counsel and senior advocate R S Sodhi protested and said these observations were unwarranted, the court said these were tentative ones and not its final view.

Just 90 minutes to decide Koli’s fate

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took just 90 minutes to seal the fate of Surinder Koli by confirming his death sentence in a case of Nithari serial rape-cum-killing episode, which perhaps may be the fastest decision by it in a capital punishment hearing. The final hearing saw a bench comprising justices Markandey Katju and Gyansudha Misra giving credence to the confessional statement of Koli to put a seal of approval on the decisions of the trial court and the Allahabad High Court sending him to the gallows. The judges, after hearing Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha, asked 39-year-old Koli’s counsel to argue the case against his conviction. PTI

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