Noida-based businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, in jail for nearly 7 years in connection with infamous Nithari serial killings, was granted bail on Monday by the Allahabad High Court in cases relating to abduction, rape and murder of 5 minor girls in which his domestic servant Surendra Koli is a co-accused.
Justice Bharat granted bail to Pandher in cases filed by parents or guardians of Payal, Pinki, Anjali, Madhu and an unnamed girl mentioned as the daughter of complainant “Jhabbu Lal” in the court order.
Even though Pandher got bail, he is unlikely to come out of jail as there are still at least 8 cases of murder pending against him besides several other charges.
The judge said in separate but almost identical orders that Pandher “be released on his furnishing a personal bond and two heavy sureties in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned”.
The court, however, directed him to remain present before the trial court on dates of hearing “and if he remains absent, he shall take prior permission”.
It also said Pandher “shall surrender his passport, if not already surrendered” and “in case of breach of any of the above conditions, the trial court will be at liberty to cancel the bail”.
The court was of the view that the “applicant cannot be kept in jail indefinitely since “he has already spent more than 7 years in jail”, besides having “already been acquitted in almost identical case initiated on almost identical facts and similar evidence”.
The court noted that all the five cases in which bail was sought, were “based on circumstantial evidence” and that “CBI had exonerated the applicant Moninder Singh Pandher”.
All the cases had been registered at a police station in Noida in 2006 shortly before exhumation of a large number of human skeletons from the premises of Pandher’s sector 31 residence and the subsequent arrest of the master-servant duo.