After spending seven years in prison, Nithari murder co-accused and Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher walked out of the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad on Saturday evening.
His release came after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail on August 4 in five of the pending cases against him in the infamous Nithari killings. He still have to face trial for the remaining five scases against him at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad.
Pandher, who lost around 20 kgs since he was arrested on December 29, 2006, stepped out along with several other inmates around 7.40pm from the Dasna jail complex. As he walked out, his son, lawyer and other relatives were waiting for him outside the main entrance.
Speaking to HT, Pandher said if his health will allow, he will visit the Golden Temple at Amritsar and another gurudwara, near Ambala.
“There have been a lot of health complications like glaucoma and diabetes that aggravated over the years. I will undergo a check-up and spend some time with family,” Pandher, who was wearing a white kurta-pajama, told HT.
“The inmates and jail officials have been very helpful and I am thankful to them,” he said.
His son Karan told HT that they would take him to Chandigarh.
Even though he was granted bail and his son arranged for sureties amounting to a total of Rs 50 lakh, legal issues delayed his release. There were some typing errors in two of the five release orders that were sent back by jail officials. These were later corrected and the rectified orders were finally sent on Saturday evening for his release.
After the then Uttar Pradesh government handed over the probe in the horrific killings to the CBI, the agency had registered 19 cases and later filed 16 chargesheets against Pandher’s domestic help and prime accused Surinder Koli.
While Koli was chargesheeted for rape, murder and abduction, Pandher was charged in a single case under the Immoral Trafficking Act. In one of the six cases decided by the Ghaziabad court in February 2009 both Pandher and Koli were awarded death penalty. Following an appeal, the High Court acquitted Pandher of all charges while upholding Koli’s punishment.