Arguments that clinched death sentences for Pandher, Koli

February 13th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, Feb 13 (IANS) Businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli continue to remain a threat to society, prosecution and the victim’s lawyers Friday argued before the court, hours before the two were sentenced to death for raping and killing a 14-year-old of Nithari village near here four years ago.
On Friday morning, the prosecution, defence and the victim’s lawyer made their final submissions before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rama Jain.

The court had Thursday convicted Pandher and Koli in the rape and murder of Rimpa Haldar, one of the 19 victims of the serial killings in Nithari village.

After referring to Koli’s confessional statements, S.P. Ahluwalia, special public prosecutor representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said capital punishment is awarded to such criminals for such rare cases and the guilty deserve a harsh punishment.

The constitutional validity also upholds death sentence for the rarest of rare cases, he said.

“The crime was committed by Koli with extreme brutality,” Ahluwalia said.

Reading from the charge sheet, Ahluwalia said from January-February 2005, when Rimpa was reported missing, Koli was alone at Pandher’s (D-5) bungalow in Noida’s Sector 31 next to Nithari, near where the skulls and remains of the victims were discovered in December 2006.

After raping and murdering Rimpa, Koli ate her arms and chest and then prepared the meat of her body in the kitchen.

“Koli was not under any extreme mental pressure to commit the crime and was quite young (34 years). He continues to be a grave threat to society and there are no chances of reforming him. There are 19 cases of brutal crimes against him. Koli cannot be also rehabilitated,” he said.

The CBI lawyer further said that Koli had written the whole confessional statement in his own hand and signed it.

“He carries no signs of remorse even after this. Koli was not forced to confess, as he had said. Rimpa was not 18 years as Koli said but just a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered. Since each of this holds true, he should be given nothing other than death sentence.”

Khalid Khan, the lawyer for the victim’s family, said: “On the basis of evidence, the court has found that the crime was committed by both Koli and Pandher after thorough planning - one of the requisites for awarding a death penalty. It was an extremely brutal killing. Rimpa’s body was cut into pieces - something they did with other victims too. Both of them should be given death punishment.”

In defence, Pandher’s counsel Dev Raj Singh said: “There is no direct evidence linking Pandher to the crime. He was in Australia at the time of the incident. There are travel documents supporting that. It is also not the rarest of rare cases.”

Koli’s lawyer Kalu Ram said: “Koli’s statement under Section 164 of CrPC (criminal Procedure Code) was illegal and it should not be accepted as evidence. Also, the evidence is full of contradictions. There is no direct evidence. Hence, the case does not fall in the rarest-of-rare category and he should be given a mild sentence.”

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