Pandher acquitted in Nithari killing
The Allahabad High Court, however, upheld the death sentence of Pandher's domestic help, Surinder Koli. Pandher was absolved of all charges on account of no evidence against him
The Allahabad High Court on Friday acquitted Moninder Singh Pandher of all charges related to his involvement in one of the murders in the Nithari case.
While the court upheld the death sentence of his domestic help, Surinder Koli, Pandher was absolved of all charges on account of no evidence against him.
A division bench comprising Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice KN Pandey said, "No evidence has been placed on record to show that Pandher was guilty."
Pandher and Koli had earlier appealed to the high court after a Special CBI court had awarded them capital punishment on February 13 this year. They were charged with rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl, Rimpa Haldar. Interestingly, the CBI which was investigating the matter had given a clean chit to Pandher in all its six chargesheets on the ground that he was out of station at the time of the crime.
As Hardnews had reported earlier (Master's slave, http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2007/10/1406), it was only in the seventh chargesheet that the case diary (CD) and the general diary (GD) were submitted to the court by CBI inspector, AGL Kaul. The CBI had earlier concealed these two important documents. They were submitted only after Premchand Dikshit, president of a civil society group, Samajik Vikas Samiti in Ghaziabad, filed an FIR asking why these documents were not produced. Kaul 'panicked' and to avert arrest submitted the documents that clearly mention that Pandher had confessed to raping and sodomising women and children in his house. CBI was then accused of botching up the case.
The CD and GD that were maintained at the Sector 20 police station of Noida had records of Pandher's statement in which he confessed: "When I could not get a girl at night, I could not sleep. Then I would ask Surendra to make some arrangement. Then, he would lure any boy or girl he found near the house. In this way, I raped several small girls and boys in the last one or one-and-a-half years, for which I am sorry. Whoever I raped, I got (them) killed by my servant, Surendra, according to the plan, so that the secret was never out. Please forgive me."
Koli and Pandher made these statements on December 29, 2006 wherein Pandher said that Koli killed Payal, one of the girls, on his instructions. The statement was recorded by the then circle officer, Dinesh Yadav, and has been duly signed by him. However, CBI extensively quoted Koli from the same CD and the confessional statements of Pandher were neglected and not presented to the court till the FIR was filed by Dikshit. The CBI director, in turn, called the investigation by the Noida police faulty and said that the police would have extracted Pandher's confessional statement by force.