Surendra Koli

Court cancels death penalty for accused Surendra Koli in 12 Nithari killings cases


Surendra Koli was found not guilty by the Allahabad High Court on 12 of 14 counts in relation to Nithari murder case dating back to 2005; remains of several children were discovered in Noida drain. This incident caused widespread anger across India; now that Surendra Koli’s acquittal has come into the limelight again it should provide closure on this controversial affair.


Nithari killings began in 2005 when several children’s remains were discovered in a drain in Noida and caused outrage across India and around the globe. Police later arrested Surendra Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher as suspects for this case; over several years of trial proceedings both men were ultimately sentenced to death by court ruling in 2009.

Surendra Koli

The Case:

On Monday, the Allahabad High Court delivered its judgement in favor of Surendra Koli and annulled his death penalty sentence in 12 cases and two cases against Moninder Singh Pandher based on insufficient proof from prosecution against both individuals beyond any reasonable doubt.

Families of victims were shocked and outraged at this verdict, after waiting over 10 years for justice in this case. With an acquittal of one of the main suspects being made public again and protests taking place throughout Australia in opposition to it being handed down, more attention has been drawn back onto it than before and protests held across Australia against its outcome have become widespread.


The verdict has elicited mixed responses; while families of victims expressed disappointment and shock at its outcome, defence attorneys expressed relief as their argument was that prosecution failed to prove its charges beyond reasonable doubt.

Affirming of the main accused has thrust this case back into public view, leading to numerous protests by victims’ family members demanding that it be reopened and charged retried.

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Nithari Killings Case and Protests have sent shockwaves through India and provoked widescale demonstrations since 2009. After six years of litigation and with both accused facing death penalties being awarded by court in 2009, on Monday Allahabad High Court released its judgement, in which Surendra Koli was found not guilty in 12 out of 13 charges and cancelled death penalties – an unexpected turn of events which stunned victims’ families who have been waiting justice since 2008. Protesters against this verdict demand the case is reopened with arrest of both accused having received for over 10 years now – while some families of victims’ relatives have demanded justice after such unexpected news surfaced as opposed to what would happen under normal conditions!

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