SC awards ''barbaric'' Koli death sentence in Nithari case

New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) The "barbaric" Nithari rapist-cum-serial killer Surinder Koli was today sentenced to death bythe Supreme Court for the murder of a 14-year-old girl in2005, which it described as "horrifying" and one of the rarestof the rare cases.

Holding that the appellant, Koli, "appears to be theserial killer", the court said, "These cases in our opinionfall within the category of the rarest of the rare cases."

"No mercy can be shown to him," a bench of justicesMarkandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said, while giving theverdict in the Rimpa Haldar murder case.

The judges confirmed in just 90 minutes the death sentenceof 39-year-old Koli, who has also been awarded capitalpunishment by the trial court in three other cases of rape andkilling of young women and children in Nithari village nearNoida on the outskirts of the national capital.

A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli and hisbusinessmen employer Moninder Singh Pandher (54), who was alsosentenced to death in Rimpa Haldar case, but he was acquittedby the Allahabad High Court. Pandher is facing trial inseveral of the other Nithari cases, which surfaced in December2006.

While confirming Koli''s death sentence, the apex courtkept pending with itself the CBI appeal against acquittal ofPandher, saying any order passed against him or in his favourcan have a bearing on remaining cases which are at the trialstage.

Relying upon the Koli''s confessional statement, in whichhe had given "graphic details" of how he used to allure andkill young girls in Noida, the bench said, "The confessionshad been made voluntarily before the magistrate and there areno defects in them."

The bench confirmed Koli''s death sentence, first awardedby a CBI special court in Ghaziabad and later endorsed by theHigh Court, dismissing his appeal in one of the 16 cases.

Describing the crime of Koli as "horrifying" and"barbaric", the court said that he used a definite methodologyin committing the murders.

"He would see small girls passing by the house, andtaking advantage of their weakness lured them inside the houseand there he would strangulate them and after killing them hetried to have sex with the body and would then cut off theirbody parts and eat them," the court said.

The court also turned down the plea of Koli that deathpenalty cannot be awarded on the circumstantial evidence.

"Although it is a case of circumstantial evidence, we areof the opinion that the entire chain of circumstancesconnecting the accused Surendra Koli with the crime has beenestablished by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt," thebench said, adding people can be hanged on the basis ofcircumstantial evidence.

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