An Allahabad High court will on Monday hear Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher's appeal against the death verdict awarded to him last month in the rape and murder of Rimpa Halder.
A designated CBI (central Bureau of Investigation) court in Ghaziabad had on February 13 sentenced Pandher, a former dealer of earth moving equipment, along with his domestic help Surendra Koli to death in the Halder case, which is part of the group of 19 murders allegedly executed by Koli.
Halder, who was found missing on February 8 four years ago in 2005 by her parents, was allegedly sexually violated, strangulated and cannibalised by Koli the same day at Pandher’s bungalow (D 5) located in Sector 31, Noida.
The CBI court had awarded death to Pandher despite the fact that the probe agency, the CBI, had submitted his passport records that showed him not present in the country the day the murder had occurred. Pandher was away in Australia between January 31 to February 15 in 2005 on a business trip.
Though the CBI had not charge sheeted Pandher, the court had directed the agency to do so based on the testimony of Halder’s father Anil that “a saw used in the crime had been recovered from the bungalow at the convict’s instance”.
Pandher’s son Karandeep told Hindustan Times, “We have just learnt that my father’s appeal will begin getting heard from Monday. Our defense team, led by lawyer R.S. Sodhi, would seek time to present the grounds of our appeal.”
Halder’s lawyer M.I. Farooqui said, “On Monday, the court is expected to first summon records of the case and only then the arguments would be heard from the parties concerned.”
According to Karandeep Pandher, his father’s appeal will be based on grounds of his absence when the crime took place and that the saw was not used in the crimes according to forensic experts.
He added, “Even if Koli was the killer, it is an established fact that serial killers act alone and not in compliance with others.”