Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court Wednesday commuted the death sentence of Nithari killing convict Surinder Koli to life imprisonment.
A bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.K.S. Baghel passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Peoples Union for Democratic Rights.
Uttar Pradesh Advocate General Vijay Bahadur Singh and state counsel Akhilesh Singh opposed the petition to commute Koli’s death sentence.
Koli was convicted for the murder of Rimpa Haldar, who went missing in Noida in December 2006.
The petitioner has alleged that there was considerable delay in disposing of Koli’s mercy petition by the president of India and hence the capital punishment be commuted to life term.
Many children went missing from Noida’s Nithari village in 2005. In December that year, police raided the bungalow of Moninder Singh Pandher and arrested him and his domestic help Koli after some skeletons were recovered from the backyard of the bungalow and in a nearby drain.
The state government has recommended a CBI probe into the case.
In July 2014, Pranab Mukherjee refused to entertain his mercy petition after which judicial process for his execution started.
The high court, however, put on hold Koli’s hanging after human rights activists filed a petition before it to commute his death sentence.