GHAZIABAD: A Special court on Friday awarded death penalty to Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surendra Koli in the rape and murder of housemaid Anjali in 2006.
The court had held pandher and Koli guilty in the ninth case of what has come to be known as the Nithari killings.
The court has also slapped a fine of Rs 35,000 on Koli and Rs 25,000 on Pandher, CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said here.
The woman's body was among those of 19 victims found from the backyard of Pandher's house in Nithari village in Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
This was the ninth among the 16 cases in which Koli was convicted by the court. This was also the third case in which both Pandher and Koli were convicted.
Pronouncing the judgment, Special CBI Judge P.K. Tiwari noted that Koli and Pandher were involved in the rape and murder of housemaid Anjali in 2006, and they deserved be punished in the strictest manner.
Since Pandher was involved in the crime along with his domestic help, he is also liable for the maximum punishment as described in law and that is death, the judge ruled.
Koli had dragged the victim inside the house and made her unconscious, raped her, and then ate her flesh, therefore death sentence is the only option in law. Both are to be hanged till death, the judge said.
During a search in the area behind Pandher's house, the Noida Police had recoverd skeletal remains. It was DNA testing of one of the remains that matched with the mother and brother of the victim. Her clothes from the skeletal remains were also identified by her relatives.
A charge sheet was filed by the CBI on June 22, 2007
Calling the killings the "rarest of the rare" cases, CBI Special Judge Pawan Kumar Tiwari had on Thursday convicted the two for murder, kidnapping to murder, rape and destruction of evidence and reserved its order on sentencing for today.
The sensational killings came to light with the discovery of eight skeletal remains of children from the drain behind Pandher's house on December 29, 2006.
Pandher and Koli were subsequently arrested by the Noida Police.
With further digging and searching of drains and the area around Pandher's house, more skeletal remains were found. Most of these remains proved to be that of poor children and young women who had gone missing from the area.
Within 10 days, the CBI took over case and its search resulted in the recovery of more bones.
During the interrogation, Koli had accepted rape, murder and cannibalism, according to the CBI.