A special Central Bureau of Investigation court convicted Surinder Koli-- servant of Moninder Singh Pandher-- for murder and rape of teenager Rachna in the sensational Nithari killings case that sent shock waves across the country in 2006.
"The court convicted Surinder Koli on Monday, for the rape and murder of Rachna at Nithari in 2006. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Tuesday," CBI lawyer J P Sharma told PTI.
The court of special CBI Judge A K Singh found Koli guilty under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 364 (kidnapping for murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 511 (punishment for life imprisonment) and 376 (punishment for rape) of IPC. During the 122-day trial, the court examined 46 witnesses before pronouncing its verdict, Sharma said.
Nine-year-old Rachan Lal was found missing in April 2006 after she left her home saying she was going to meet her grandparents. After Rachna went untraceable, her parents lodged a police complaint. Her parents later identified Rachna's clothes and other belongings from the D-5 residence of Pandher when a search was carried out. Pandher was not an accused in this case as the investigating agency had not found any evidence against him. With the decision in this case of Nithari killings, 13 others remain to be decided.
Both Pandher and his domestic aide Surinder Koli have been accused of killing young children and women and a total of 19 cases have been lodged against them. On February 13, 2009, the duo were sentenced to death in the Rimpa Haldar case in the first verdict in the Nithari killings. However, Pandher was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court on September 11, last year.