Sentiments ran high after CBI Special Judge Rama Jain announced her conviction judgement on Thursday afternoon.
Both Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli broke down in court after hearing the judgement. Pandher’s son Karandeep Pandher was also in tears as described his father as a victim of ‘media-trial’. “I will not say anything on this issue. I know my father is an innocent man and, thanks to all of you, an innocent man has been found guilty,” said an angry Karandeep told mediapersons. Later, Karandeep and his mother Devender Kaur left the court avoiding a media glare.
Rimpa Halder's parents too were in tears as the court pronounced both Koli and Pandher guilty. “We had faith in the court and justice has been done to us. We want them hanged,” Anil Halder, Rimpa’s father, said.
While Nithari victims’ lawyer Khalid Khan termed the verdict as victory of the common man and was jubilant as were the victims' families. “On many occasions, I received threatening calls from fellow lawyers and some unknown person to drop the cases. But I am not afraid of anyone and I can fight cases against anyone,” Khan told HT.
Talking about he took up the cases, he said, “When they approached me, I took their cases and never charged anything from them. I wanted to bring justice to them,” he said.
Pandher’s defence counsels, Devraj Singh and Manoj Gupta, appeared dejected after the verdict. "It is the judgement of the court. I cannot comment on the judgement, but we expected Pandher to come out clean, as we had fought the case well during the trial and arguments. We will now try to move the high court after the sentence is pronounced on Friday,” said Manoj Gupta.
CBI counsels S.P. Ahluwalia and Puneet Ahluwalia left the court after the judgement while J.P. Sharma and Anil Behl told HT that they had tried their best and will accept the court's order.