Pandher let off the hook in one case

But house of horrors suspect has a long way to go

Pandher let off the hook in one case


Moninder Singh Pandher. File photo

It, however, upheld the death sentence awarded to Pandher’s domestic help Surinder Koli by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad.

Both Pandher and Koli were sentenced to death by the lower court earlier this year for the murder of 14-year Rimpa Halder, one of the victims.

The high court, in its verdict, observed that Pandher had been given a clean chit by the CBI, and that the investigating agency had not filed a charge- sheet against him.

A division bench comprising Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice Kashi Nath Singh agreed with the agency’s contention that Pandher was not in India when Rimpa was murdered.

Pandher was found guilty under Section 120 B of IPC (conspiracy) by the lower court, but the high court said there was no evidence of conspiracy against him.
While Pandher’s son Karandeep Singh expressed happiness at the verdict, the CBI lawyer said it had vindicated the agency’s contention that Pandher was not guilty.
He added the CBI had issued charge-sheet to Pandher only for trafficking and bribery and offering gifts to police officials during a probe into the murder of Payal.
Pandher’s lawyer said an application would now be moved seeking bail for Pandher in the light of the high court judgment.

Pandher, however, is still an accused in 18 other cases related to the Nithari killings. Both Pandher and Koli had been accused of killing and disposing of the bodies of 19 children and a young woman between 2005 and 2006. The skeletons of the children had been recovered from a sewer behind Pandher’s plush D-5 bungalow in Noida’s Sector 31. The human skulls were stuffed in 57 gunny bags along with 700 bone pieces.

The investigation was handed over to the CBI on January 11, 2007. The CBI has filed charge sheets in 16 cases. The charge sheets in the remaining three cases are awaited.

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