SC stays Koli's death sentence

SC stays Koli's death sentence

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government to reply to a petition filed by Koli for his conviction in the murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of the 19 girls who were brutally murdered in Noida in 2006.

The matter will be heard at length by the apex court before a final decision is taken.

A petition filed by Koli’s advocate Sushil Balwada said Pandher was acquitted while his client was awarded capital punishment for the same crime. On September 11, 2009, the Allahabad High Court had acquitted Pandher and upheld the death sentence awarded to Koli.

Fifty two-year-old Pandher and 38-year-old Koli had challenged the death sentence awarded to them on February 13, 2009 by the trial court in Ghaziabad before the high court.

The judges, while allowing the appeal of Pandher and dismissing that of Koli, had made it clear that the findings recorded by them were confined to the murder of Rimpa. The cases came to light in December 2006 when the police raided Pandher’s house following complaints by villagers that several of their children were missing.

The duo was arrested for the murder of a call girl, Payal, and later police registered a total of 19 cases after human skulls, bones and clothes of young girls were recovered from the house.

The judges noted that the trial court had summoned Pandher mainly on the ground that a number of killings had taken place at his Noida residence from where an axe was also recovered.

The court pointed out that Koli had confessed that he had killed Haldar with a knife, not an axe, at a time when Pandher was abroad.

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