The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the decks for the hanging of Surinder Koli, convicted in the Nithari serial killings, as it rejected his petition seeking review of the judgment that upheld his death sentence.
Koli’s review petition was heard in open court in accordance with a recent SC judgment that declared all such matters should not be decided by judges in chamber. His lawyer, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, said the court had committed an error and vital evidence was suppressed in the case.
But a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said: “We are fully satisfied that this court has not committed any error that may persuade us to review the order.”
Koli, 42, was found guilty of murdering young women and children at a bungalow in Noida. Jethmalani claimed Koli was tortured by the police into giving evidence and autopsy report of the bodies had revealed the murder of 14 children was done “by a medical expert” with the objective of trading in organs.
Koli was to be hanged last month in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh but his execution was suspended twice last month after SC gave its landmark ruling that every death row convict had the fundamental right to be heard in an open court.
Koli worked at the home of Moninder Singh Pandher, who was also charged with murder in the case but was later acquitted. Pandher was released from jail a month ago.
Koli was sentenced to hang for murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Halder in 2005. He has already been convicted of five cases of murder, rape and cannibalism while 14 more cases are still pending.
During his confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate in 2007, Koli admitted to killing minors and women during 2005-2006 and dismembering body parts.