Earlier on Saturday, the CBI court convicted businessman Pandher and Koli and said the sentence would be pronounced on 24 July, according to a PTI report.
The case came to light in 2006 when the police discovered skulls and bones of 16 persons, mostly children, near Pandher’s house in Noida’s Nithari village. Investigation began after two Nithari residents claimed they knew the location of the remains of children, who had gone missing in the previous two years and accused the local authorities of ignoring their complaints.
Here is the chronology of events in the serial killings of children and girls in Nithari village:
29 December 2006: Nithari killings came to light with the discovery of eight skeletal remains of children from the drain of a house in Nithari, Noida. Two suspects , the owner of the house, businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli, were arrested.
30 December: More skeletons were excavated from the drain
31 December: Two beat constables suspended as political pressure starts building up.
3 January 2007: UP government suspends Piyush Mordia, former SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar district; Saumitra Yadav, the then additional SP of Noida, and former circle officer Sewak Ram Yadav. Six sub-inspectors, who had earlier been suspended were dismissed, said a report in Hindustan Times.
5 January: Pandher and Koli were taken to Gandhinagar for extensive narco-analysis test by Uttar Pradesh police.
0 January: CBI took over investigations in the case.
11 January: First CBI team visits Nithari to initiate a probe in the case. Thirty more bones found near Pandher’s house.
12 January: Pandher and Koli interrogated by the CBI.
20 January: UP government files report to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
8 February: Special CBI court sends Pandher and Koli to 14 days of CBI custody.
13 February 2009: Koli was convicted and sentenced to death by a special CBI court for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of the several victims.
10 September: Pandher and Koli were sentenced to death by the trial court. The Allahabad High Court acquitted Pandher of the crime, but confirmed Koli’s death sentence.
7 January 2010: The Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of Koli.
20 July 2014: Mercy petitions of Surendra Koli, and five other death row convicts were rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.
8 September 2014: The court had stayed Koli’s execution at 1am in the night. Koli’s sentence was to be carried out the same day.
An apex court official said that the plea in this regard was mentioned before the bench after midnight and the order was passed at 1:40am.
The order was communicated to the jail authorities concerned. Koli was to be hanged on 12 September in Meerut jail, where he was kept in high-security barracks.
7 September: Surinder Koli’s death sentence was changed to a life sentence by the Supreme Court.
12 September: The Supreme Court extended the interim stay on execution of Surinder Koli, convicted for the Nithari killings, till 29 October. A three-judge bench heard the review petition for the death sentence on 28 October.
The court asked Koli’s lawyer Indira Jaising to submit a document with five bullet points, citing reasons for asking a review.
29 October 2014: The Supreme Court bench headed by the chief justice of India H. L. Dattu rejected the death sentence review petition stating that the court had not committed any error in judgement.
29 January 2015: A division bench comprising chief justice D.Y. Chandrachud and justice P.K.S. Baghel held execution of Koli’s death sentence, stating it would be “unconstitutional in view of the inordinate delay" in deciding his mercy petition.
The order came after a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), which contended that the period elapsed in disposal of Koli’s mercy petition was “3 years and 3 months" and, as such, execution of death sentence would be in violation of the right to life granted in Article 21 of the Constitution.
22 July 2017: The CBI court convicted businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli and said the sentence would be pronounced on 24 July.
24 July: Surinder Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher were pronounced guilty by the CBI court in the murder and attempted rape of 20-year-old Pinki Sarkar. This is the eighth of the 16 murder cases against the two in which judgement has been delivered.