Ghaziabad, May 12 (IANS) A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Wednesday sentenced a businessman’s domestic help, Surender Koli, to death for murdering seven-year-old Arti from Noida’s Nithari village.
Soon after the verdict, Koli, 38, described his punishment as miscarriage of justice and said he will appeal against the verdict as he had been implicated.
This is the second case related to the Nithari serial killings in which the convict has been sent to the gallows. He was earlier awarded the death penalty in the Rimpa Haldhar murder case.
Special Judge A.K. Singh awarded Koli death sentence after accepting the prosecution’s contention that Arti’s murder fell in the rarest of rare category due to its brutal nature.
The court May 4 held Koli guilty of murder, attempt to rape, abduction and tampering with evidence. Arti was reported missing Sep 25, 2006.
During the arguments Wednesday, CBI lawyer Suresh Batra pleaded that “it was a rarest of rare case in which the accused abducted a seven-year-old child, strangled her, attempted to rape her and chopped her body into pieces.”
Koli put her body pieces in plastic bags and disposed them along with articles used in the crime and the victim’s belongings, he said.
Another prosecution lawyer, J.P. Sharma, cited Supreme Court judgments in various murder cases and said that Koli’s case fell in the rarest of rare category which deserved the maximum punishment of death.
Defence lawyer Adesh Sharma pleaded for leniency, claiming Koli’s mother was a widow and he was the lone earning member of family, which includes two children.
Apart from the death penalty, the court awarded Koli separate punishments for other offences. He was handed down life imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs.1,000, for abduction.
Koli was sentenced to jail for seven years, along with a fine of Rs.1,000, for attempt to rape.
He was awarded another seven-year jail term, along with a penalty of Rs.1,000, for tempering with evidence.
Soon after being sentenced to death in a packed court room, Koli termed the judgment as “andha kanoon” (blind justice) and said he will file an appeal in the Allahabad High Court against the judgment.
“I have been implicated,” added Koli.
Out of the 19 serial killings in Nithari, Arti’s murder is the second case in which the CBI filed charge sheet in January 2007.
The first case was the Haldhar murder. In that case, Koli was sentenced to death. The death penalty was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court.
His employer and businessman M.S. Pandher was also named in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in Haldhar case.
The trial court had sentenced Pandher to death along with Koli but the Allahabad High Court reversed the judgment and acquitted him.