The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday commuted Nithari serial killer Surinder Koli’s death sentence into life imprisonment.
The order was passed by a Division bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PKS Baghel.
The judges passed their judgement on the Public Interest Litigation filed by People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), challenging the death sentence awarded to Surendra Koli, the prime accused in the Nithari serial killings case.
A similar petition was filed by Koli himself, challenging the death sentence on the same ground as the one stated in the PIL.
The PIL was filed on October 31 last year, three days after the Supreme Court rejected Koli’s recall application.
The death warrant issued by the trial court on September 2 had fixed September 12 as the date of hanging, though its execution was stayed in view of the apex court’s decision to hear the recall application.
Rejection of the recall application had cleared the docks for execution of the death sentence, though the same was stayed by the high court on October 31 when it decided to hear the PIL wherein it was pleaded that the period elapsed in disposal of Koli’s mercy petition was “3 years and 3 months” and, as such, its execution would be in violation of the Right to Life granted in Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Nithari killings pertain to the horrific discovery in December 2009 of body parts in a drain behind the bungalow of businessman MS Pandher, whose servant Koli was.
The remains were of the 19 young women and children from Nithari village allegedly raped and killed by Koli in the Pandher bungalow.