Calling it a “rarest of rare” case, in which the accused showed “animal-like tendencies”, a CBI court in Ghaziabad Friday awarded death penalty to businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli in connection with the rape and murder of 25-year-old Anjali Sarkar. This is the ninth of the 16 Nithari killing cases in which court judgments have been pronounced so far.
In Friday’s order, Special Judge Pawan Kumar Tiwari said that there were no conditions in the case which raise objections to the awarding of death penalty. “Convict/accused Surinder Koli, in a pre-planned manner, used to lure girls and women in different ways into the house and without any mercy or pity, raped them, tried to rape them, and after killing them, cut their corpses, threw parts in the gallery and drain and cooked and ate some parts of the flesh. In this dangerous illegal act, accused Pandher is involved in the conspiracy,” the order said.
While Koli has been convicted under IPC sections 302 (murder), 364 (kidnapping), 376 (rape), 201 (destruction of evidence), Pandher’s conviction is under IPC sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 201 (destruction of evidence) to be read along with IPC section 120B (criminal conspiracy). This is the second Nithari case in which Pandher and Koli have been pronounced guilty by the court and awarded death sentences. On July 24, the same court had given death penalty to the two accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Pinki Sarkar (20) — the last victim of the Nithari killings.
Friday’s court order further stated that Koli had lured Anjali Sarkar to the house on the pretext of giving her employment and strangled her with her own dupatta. Following this, Koli raped her, cut her body into pieces and threw away parts of the body in the gallery, the court order said. The incident took place on November 12, 2006. The court further reasoned that in this case, getting the “most harsh punishment” was “apt, reasonable, relevant and expedient” as the sentence would be “proportional to the crime”.
The court said that the two continued to “not feel any remorse for their crime” while noting that any chance for the two to “be rehabilitated is next to impossible”. This is only the third time that Pandher has been convicted in any of the Nithari killings. The last time he was convicted in 2009 by the CBI court in Ghaziabad, the Allahabad High Court had acquitted him, citing “lack of evidence”. In this case, too, the CBI’s initial chargesheet hadn’t named Pandher as an accused, and only later was he summoned by the court under Section 319 of the CrPC.