Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, who has been in prison for nearly seven years in connection with serial killings in Nithari village, may walk out of Dasna jail this month after the Allahabad high court granted him bail last week.
Pandher and his domestic help were arrested after the body parts of 19 children and young women were found packed in plastic bags and buried in the backyard and drains near the businessman’s home in Nithari on the outskirts of Noida. The killings sparked widespread public anger and protests by the victims’ families, with media dubbing Pandher’s home the “House of Horrors”.
The Allahabad HC granted him bail last week, saying the evidence against him was purely circumstantial. Initial reports said he was unlikely to come out of jail because he still had eight murder charges against him. But Pandher’s lawyer said on Monday the businessman could walk out of Dasna jail next week if the special CBI court in Ghaziabad was satisfied with the completion of bail formalities.
Pandher’s lawyers submitted 10 sureties of Rs. 50 lakh on Monday. “After we have furnished 10 sureties and submitted at the court, a verification process of the persons who have given surety will be done. After the verification is over, it would be up to the satisfaction of the CBI court that he may be released on bail.
The verification process may take seven to 10 days,” said Devraj Singh, Pandher’s lawyer at the Ghaziabad CBI court.
A CBI court handed out the death penalty to both Pandher and Koli in February 2009. But the Allahabad high court overturned Pandher’s death sentence. An appeal by families of the Nithari victims is pending with the Supreme Court.
Of a total of 16 chargesheets, Pandher was charge-sheeted by the CBI in a single case under the Immoral Trafficking Act. When the victims’ families approached the court, he was summoned as a co-accused in a total of six cases, including the one where he was charge-sheeted by the CBI.
Pandher and Koli were awarded the death penalty in one case on February 13, 2009. The Allahabad high court later acquitted Pandher of all charges whereas Koli’s punishment was upheld.