New Delhi: In a major development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence awarded to Surinder Singh Koli by a special CBI court for murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of his first victims in the serial rape-cum-killing episode six years back, saying
the case was "horrifying" and "barbaric".
A bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra confirmed the death sentence to 39-year-old Koli, who has also been awarded capital punishment by the trial court in three other cases of rape and killing of young women and children in Nithari village near Noida on the outskirts of the national capital.
A total of 16 cases were registered against Koli. His businessmen employer Moninder Singh Pandher was sentenced to death in Rimpa Haldar case but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court. 54-year-old Pandher is facing trial in other cases.
"In our opinion this case falls in the rarest of rare category and no mercy can be shown to him," the bench said, while confirming Koli`s death sentence, which earlier had been endorsed by the Allahabad High Court.
Relying upon the Koli`s confessional statement, in which he had given "graphic details" of how he used to allure and kill young girls in Noida, the court said, "The confessions had been made voluntarily before the magistrate and there is no defect in it."
The bench confirmed Koli`s death sentence, first awarded by CBI special court at Ghaziabad and later endorsed by the high court, dismissing his appeal in one of the first of the 16 cases.
This case pertains to the rape and murder of a minor girl Rimpa Haldar.
The apex court, however, took no decision on a petition filed by the CBI against the acquittal of Koli’s employer and businessman Moninder Singh Pandher in a Nithari case.
In February 2009, a special CBI court sentenced Pandher and Koli to death for raping and killing Rimpa Haldar.
But, much to the shock of the victims` families, Pandher was acquitted by the Allahabad High court in September 2009.
Aggrieved, victim Rimpa`s father Anil Haldar had filed the appeal challenging Pandher`s acquittal and sought restoration of the death sentence awarded to him by the sessions court.
Rimpa had gone missing from her home in the neighbourhood of Pandher`s Noida residence in early 2005.
The case of Nithari serial killings came to light toward the fag end of December 2006, following discovery of human remains from a drain behind Pandher`s house in Noida. A subsequent and thorough search of the drain had kept yielding human remains and skeletons for over a week.
The case was initially probed by the Noida police but was later handed over to the CBI, which had registered a total of 19 FIRs related to the serial killing.