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Nithari accused Pandher charged with 'harbouring criminal'

A Ghaziabad court adds a new charge against the Noida businessman facing trial for his alleged role in the serial killings.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Ghaziabad
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2007 09:10 PM IST

A Ghaziabad court on Tuesday added a fresh charge of harbouring criminal against Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher facing trial for his alleged role in the gruesome serial killings of children and young women in Nithari.

The designated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court judge Rama Jain ordered the addition of the charge, while approving other charges of immoral trafficking and destruction of evidence against Pandher in the case related to rape and murder of 22-year-old Payal by his domestic aide Surendra Koli.

The court also approved the rape and murder charges against Koli in the case as well as in the cases related to the killing of 21-year-old Pinki Sarkar and another 14-year-old girl Payal. Pandher is not an accused in the two latter cases.

While approving different charges against various accused in the Nithari cases, the judge fixed June 4 for formal framing of charges against the individual accused persons.

The framing of charges is a preliminary stage in the trial of criminal cases when the court, after examining the charge sheet and hearing the prosecution counsel, decides if the offences on which an accused has been sought to be prosecuted are in order.

Meanwhile, on a petition by advocate Khalid Khan, filed on behalf of the parents of the killed Nithari children, the judge summoned the case diary of the Noida police prepared by the then circle officer Dinesh Yadav in the case related to the killing of Payal, 14.

Remains of at least 20 children and women were found from a canal near Pandher's house in Noida.

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