Nithari victim’s father says prosecution shielding Pandher

December 13th, 2008 - 12:23 am ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, Dec 12 (IANS) The father of one of the children brutally raped and murdered two years ago in Nithari, in Noida, Friday alleged before a special court that the prosecution was shielding accused businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and only naming his servant Surendra Singh Koli in the serial crimes.The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Friday heard the last round of arguments in the murder of Rimpa Halder, one of the children killed in Nithari allegedly by Pandher and his manservant.

The prosecution, which could not complete its arguments, presented its final submissions before the court Friday.

The court of Special CBI Judge Rama Jain also heard the arguments of Nithari victims’ lawyer Khalid Khan on behalf of Rimpa Halder’s father Anil Halder.

Making his submissions before the CBI court, Khalid Khan accused the prosecution of shielding Moninder Singh Pandher by naming only Koli in the case.

“The prosecuting agency is a central government appointed agency and they need to do justice with the prosecution. But, in this case, the prosecution failed to do the right job. The prosecution was playing the role of defence,” Khalid Khan told the CBI court.

The prosecution in its application and arguments did not make any mention of Pandher and focused only on Koli, linking him to the rape, murder and other charges in the Nithari carnage, Khan said.

The court was silent when the victim’s counsel spoke and presented facts to support his arguments while the CBI prosecution was at a loss for answers.

“At the time of recovery that was made from D-5, Sector-31 (Noida house where the alleged crimes were committed), both Surendra Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher were present. Further, the certified copy of recovery documents are well signed by both Koli and Pandher. How could Pandher sign that document when he was not there?” Khan asked.

The confessional statements of both Koli and Pandher given by them under section 164 CrPC in the court are already on record. “How could the prosecution deviate from this fact and not take Pandher into account?” the counsel asked.

Khan noted that a doctor’s report Jan 13, 2007, based on the recovery, mentioned that the murder was carried out by a sharp-edged weapon and not by a saw. But on this date, only clothes, bangles and chappals (slippers) of the deceased children were recovered and not the skulls.

The recoveries of skulls were only made on Dec 29, 2006, Jan 15 and 16, 2007.

The report of another doctor, based on examination of the skulls, however, mentioned cut marks on the recovered skulls, which was possible only by a saw. This clearly established that the murder was committed by a saw and not by any pointed weapon, Khan noted.

Taking the prosecution to task, Khan said that whereas it claimed that Pandher was out in Australia between Jan 30-Feb 14, 2005, as his wife Devender Kaur stated - during the period Rimpa went missing and was subsequently murdered - the prosecution had only submitted the travel documents of Devender Kaur and not Pandher.

“Had he been out, why has Pandher failed to submit his passport and visa of the said dates?” Khan asked.

The counsel also pointed out that on Feb 22, 2007, a CBI court granted police custody of Surendra Koli till March 2, 2007. On March 28, 2007, Koli was presented before a Metropolitan Magistrate in a Delhi court, which was outside the jurisdiction of the CBI court at Ghaziabad that granted such custody orders to CBI.

He said the CBI got Koli’s police custody converted into judicial custody and sent him to Tihar Jail. The prosecution should be able to explain why did it do so when the trial was already on in the CBI court.

The Special CBI Judge Rama Jain lambasted the prosecution lawyers for indulging in this non-judicial act. When she asked the prosecution about its reason, it failed to convince the court.

The court has fixed the next date of hearing on Dec 17.

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