The designated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, which was to deliver its verdict on Wednesday in the case of the attempted rape and murder of seven-year-old Aarti Prasad in Nithari, reserved its judgment and issued summons to a former investigating officer to re-examine some key facts.
Prasad was allegedly murdered by Moninder Singh Pandher’s domestic help Surendra Koli over two years ago in Nithari. The court on Wednesday asked Dinesh Yadav, who is with the Noida police and had probed the case before it was handed over to the CBI, to appear on April 15, as it wanted to “re-examine some important facts”.
Yadav’s testimony, said CBI sources, might prove adverse for Koli’s employer and Noida businessman Pandher who was not charge-sheeted in this case since he was not present at his bungalow (D-5, sector 31) around noon on September 25, 2006, when Prasad was allegedly strangulated with a “dusting cloth” and then dismembered by Koli.
Yadav, witness number 35, had earlier told the court that “a saw was recovered from D-5 on January 1, 2007”. Based on his directions, Sub Inspector Raviraj Dikshit had later filed a seizure memo (number 103): “Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli said they could get an axe used in the crimes recovered…. Inside the bungalow, they walked ahead and pointed to the saw lying on a shelf, covered by a curtain and above a window-sill, inside the bathroom of the first floor,” read the memo.
Yadav was re-examined in the Rimpa Halder (14) case, the first of the 19 cases of attempted rape and murder of women and children in Nithari by Koli, and it had sealed the fate of Pandher whose passport records had shown he was in Australia when the crime occurred. “Dinesh Yadav’s testimony led to the court finding both Koli and Pandher guilty in the Rimpa case,” Halder's lawyer Khalid Khan told HT.
The court had awarded death to Pandher and Koli in the Halder case on February 13.
The court had pulled up the CBI for having neither submitted the seizure memo nor sending the saw — along with an axe and two knives recovered at Koli’s instance — for forensic examination.
The CBI, based on the records obtained from Pandher’s mobile phone had found that the earth-moving equipment dealer had spent the night intervening September 25-26 with a “call girl at Hotel Magpie of Haryana Tourism in Faridabad”.