The CBI court considered a body of material, including forensic, and corroborative evidence, before convicting Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surendra Koli for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Halder.
Koli was convicted under charges of kidnapping, attempt to rape and murder.
However, the surprise of the day was Pandher’s conviction on the charge of being a part of the conspiracy to rape and murder Halder, and subsequently destroy the evidence.
CBI had submitted evidence to show that Pandher was away in Australia for a business meeting between January 30, and February 15, 2005, and so had no role in the crime.
But the court convicted him, according to the CBI counsel, on the basis on a submission made by Halder’s father Anil. Anil told the court that Koli had verbally confessed before Noida police officials on December 29, 2006, that he had committed the rapes and murders after getting “excited to see that my employer (Pandher) was getting call girls through me regularly during night-time.” According to Anil, the police also recovered an “aaree (axe) and skulls” on the instance of both Koli and Pandher.
Judicial confession by Koli
Koli’s judicial confession, recorded in-camera by a Delhi metropolitan court in 2007, sealed his fate in the case, according to CBI’s counsel JP Sharma. Koli apparently voluntarily recorded his confession to “unburden his conscience, own up guilt and help the court”.
Koli told the court that he had lured Halder inside Pandher’s bungalow on the morning of February 8, 2005. Koli told her, “Do you want work, come inside and I will let you finalise the deal with madam,” according to a copy of the confession with HT.
As Halder waited to meet ‘madam’ in the drawing room, Koli strangulated her from behind using her red-white chunni. He said he tried to rape her unsuccessfully and then dragged her body to his bathroom on the terrace. He used a kitchen knife and an axe to cut her to pieces and used portions from a breast and an arm to cook to eat.
Based on his admissions, the CBI recovered Halder’s chunni etc. He also led to the discovery of Halder’s skull, the knife and the axe used.
The CBI had done DNA profiling of Halder’s bones and skull that matched with the samples of her father, mother and brother. The tests also proved that the recovered knife and axe were of the kind that could cut flesh and bones easily.