Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli Versus State of U.P (Nithari kand Case)
Appeal Number: RESERVED CRIMINAL (CAPITAL) APPEAL NO. 1475 OF 2009
Bench: S Charan
No. of Judges: 1
Acts: Indian Evidence Act, Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code
- In December 2006, two Nithari residents claimed they found a location, themunicipal water tank behind house D5, with the remains of children who had gone missing in the previous two years:.
- Parents, whose both had daughters who were missing, suspected Surinder Koli, the domestic help at D5, had something to do with the matter.
- Later, a resident claimed to have found a decomposed hand, after which they called the police.
- As per the media report, Koli’s employer, Moninder Pandher, was picked up by the police on 26 December and Koli on 27 December in connection with the disappearance of girl.
- After Koli made the confession to the police after 60 days of the custody, the police claimed to have started digging up the nearby land area and discovered the children’s bodies.
- Further, a doctor living close to the Pandher residence, Navin Choudhary, had been under police suspicion a few years ago in relation with an alleged kidney racket at his hospital.
- Whether kholi’s statement after 60 days of police custody accounts to confession.
- Whether kholi be given death sentence.
- Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act bars a confession if it appears to be have been caused by inducement, threat or promise. In this case, the statement was though not considered as confession. Further, he said that he was tutored by the police to say many things, including the names of the victims, the manner of killing, etc. He also said that the police had tortured him brutally.
- Kholi, more a mental patient who needs a doctor more than hanged. It is evident from his activites of murder of both boys and girls that he is no one but a serial killer.
On 29 October 2014, the Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India H. L. Dattu rejected the death sentence (awarded by the High Court) review petition with the view that the court had not committed any error in judgement.
On 28 January 2015, the High Court bench headed by C. J. D. Y. Chandrachud and J. P. K. S. Baghel commuted the death sentence of S. Koli to life imprisonment on the ground of “inordinate delay” in deciding his mercy petition.