Ghaziabad (PTI): Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surinder Koli were sentenced to death by a special CBI court here today in the Nithari serial killings case for murdering 20-year-old domestic help Pinki Sarkar in 2006.
Special judge Pawan Kumar Tiwari, who had convicted the duo on Saturday, handed down the sentence after which Pandher, who was out on bail, was taken into judicial custody.
Special senior public prosecutor Jai Prakash Sharma said the court termed it as a rarest of the rare cases after being satisfied that there was no scope left for their reform or rehabilitation.
The judge found both of them guilty of kidnapping, raping, murder and having hatched a criminal conspiracy.
The case related to the disappearance of Sarkar on October 5, 2006 when she was returning home from work along the road outside the D-5 residence of Pandher in NOIDA.
The CBI had said that Koli allegedly abducted her, raped her and later killed her. After the murder, he beheaded the victim and threw her head and garments in a drain behind Pandher’s house, it had said.
The CBI had filed the case after the victim’s parents identified her clothes in April 2007 and later some of the skeletal remains were identified by matching the DNA samples with her parents.
This is the second time that Pandher has been awarded death sentence. He, along with Koli, was given capital punishment by the special court on February 13, 2009 for the murder of 14-year-old girl Rimpa Halder at his house.
However, a division bench of the Allahabad High Court had turned down the trial judge’s verdict and acquitted him.
The Noida police had discovered 19 skeletons from the drain near Pandher’s house in Nithari village on December 29, 2006. After a nationwide uproar, the case was handed over to the CBI.
Pandher and Koli were chargesheeted in 16 of the 19 cases, while three were closed for want of evidence. Most of the victims were young girls.
Prior to the Pinki Sarkar case, Koli was sentenced to death in all the nine cases. Seven cases were in various stages of trial.
In its order today, the court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on Koli, besides an imprisonment of 10 years for destruction of evidence.
Pandher was also slapped with a fine of Rs 5,000 and a seven-year jail term for destruction of evidence.
He had been out on bail since 2014 following an order of the Allahabad High court.
The shocking and gruesome case had come to light in December 2006 when the Noida police discovered skulls and skeletal remains of 16 persons, mostly children, from the drain.
Earlier, many children had gone missing from the nearby clusters of Nithari and it was alleged that Koli would lure them to the house on the pretext of offering them sweets and chocolates, murder them and then have sex with the corpses.
In a few cases, Koli had eaten human flesh as well, according to the CBI charge sheet.