Domestic help Surender Koli — the main accused in the Nithari killings that came to light three years ago — was awarded death sentence in the second of the 16 cases against him, on Wednesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) designated court had convicted Koli last Tuesday after finding him guilty for the abduction, rape and murder of seven-year-old schoolgirl Aarti Prasad in September 2006.
Prasad, a nursery student of the Hitkari Shiksha Niketan School at Sector-31 in Noida, had gone missing in the afternoon of September 25, 2006.
Inquiries by the Noida police and the CBI, which overtook the case from the former in January 2007, established that Koli had lured Prasad to abduct and rape her.
He had gone on to strangulate her to death the same afternoon and dismembered her body before disposing off the pieces around his employer's — businessman Moninder Singh Pandher — D-5 bungalow in Sector 31.
The judge, in his 41-page judgment, called Koli "a blot on humanity" and observed that "any leniency towards him would weaken the faith in criminal justice and it was dangerous to let him free in a civilised society".
Judge AK Singh awarded death sentence to Koli for Prasad's murder, a life term for her abduction and a jail-term of seven years for rape/attempt to rape. Koli was also sentenced to another jail term of seven year for having destroyed evidence and directed him to pay as fine Rs 1,000 each for the charges (except of murder) of his conviction.
Terming the case as the "rarest of rare" and empathising with Koli's family members, the court said, "Koli had admitted he had committed barbaric and inhuman crimes several times and there is no hope of his resurrection far in sight."
The court added, "Death sentence seems a trifle for the crime committed by him but the law has no bigger punishment for him."
Though there was no eyewitness in the case, the CBI had produced testimonies of 46 witnesses against Koli.
Koli's lawyer produced only one witness in his defence.
The manner in which the murder took place led the court to state that "any leniency... would weaken the faith in criminal justice and it was dangerous to let him free in a civilised society".
The CBI had chargesheeted Koli in the case for the crimes against Prasad but pressed no charge against Pandher due to lack of evidence against him.
I cut her... then threw her head and clothes away
Surender Koli's voluntary confession recorded in March 2007 sealed his fate. Excerpts...
On Aarti Gupta:
"One afternoon, I saw a little bald girl (chotti si ganji ladki), whose name was Aarti... I called her by luring her with the promise to give her chocolates... I strangulated her... tried to have sex with her... But the sex could not happen and I lifted her and took her upstairs... I cut her body into pieces and put them into a polythene. I threw her head, clothes and slippers behind the bungalow and the rest of the body remains in the drain."
Aaarti 'knew' Koli
"She’d often see me working in the garden while passing the bungalow to and from her school."
Rape and murder
When I would see so many women at home with Pandher, I would get an irresistible urge to have sex. I felt like having sex, and then killing and eating —"kaatun aur khaun".