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Court dismisses Koli plea for lawyer change

A special court on Friday dismisses an application by Surendra Koli, prime accused in the Nithari serial murders, to change his lawyer.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2007 20:45 IST

A special court on Friday dismissed an application by Surendra Koli, prime accused in the Nithari serial murders, to change his lawyer and cancel his plea that employer Moninder Singh Pandher's confession be incorporated in a chargesheet related to one of the killings.

Special Judge Rama Jain said the court did not find any valid ground to either change the lawyer or cancel Koli's earlier plea of Pandher's confessional statement being incorporated in the case related to the murder of sex worker Payal - one of the 20 people, mostly children, from Nithari village whose skeletal remains were found in a drain near Pandher's bungalow in Noida.

Last week, when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its sixth chargesheet in the case related to the killing of an eight-year-old girl Rachna, it also attached with it Pandher's incriminating confessional statement to Noida police.

He said in the statement that his domestic aide Koli had lured the children from Nithari to his house and later killed them at his behest.

Koli had then moved the court demanding that Pandher's confessions be attached with the chargesheet related to Payal's killing as well.

Pandher had also confessed to Noida police that he had made Koli eliminate Payal as she had begun blackmailing him despite charging him Rs 2,500 for every single night.

But within days Koli filed another handwritten application stating that his lawyer, provided by the legal aid cell, was not acting according to his instructions. He said the lawyer had filed the plea for Pandher's confession being incorporated in the Payal murder case without his consent.

However, the court dismissed his plea saying that the allegation levelled against the lawyer provided to him on government expenses "appear to be baseless" as no motive could be imputed to him.

Refusing to accede to Koli's plea to cancel his earlier application, the judge said she would hear arguments on it on July 2.

First Published: Jun 22, 2007 17:07 IST