KILLINGS: TEHELKA INVESTIGATION
The evidence presented by the CBI to the courts
states that Pandher wasn’t even aware of the Nithari murders.
The Noida Police’s case diary and the general diary with Tehelka
clearly say he ordered the murders. Is there a cover-up?
There have been
serious and inexplicable lapses on part of the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) in the way it has handled the Nithari murders probe. Documents
with Tehelka show how the CBI accepted many of Noida Police’s
findings on the serial killings without verifying them and ignored many
obvious facts and discrepancies. All of this helped buttress its theory
that Surendra Koli alone was guilty of the rapes and murders, not Moninder
shown the General Diary extracts submitted by the CBI to the courts,
legal experts had serious doubts about their authenticity
The remains and
some personal effects of 26-year-old Payal, daughter of Nandlal, a resident
of Nithari, were found — along with those of 18 children —
in the drains running along house no. D-5 situated in Sector 31 in Noida.
The Noida Police concluded that Pandher and his domestic help, Koli,
killed all the 19 victims after sexually molesting them. The case was
handed over to the CBI on January 11. On March 22, the CBI filed its
first chargesheet in the Payal murder case and gave a clean chit to
Pandher. Shortly after that, a Tehelka investigation (Question Time,
CBI? April 7, 2007) showed that there were many loopholes in the CBI’s
investigation and its conclusions unreliable. The CBI has filed four
more chargesheets since then, and all state that Pandher is not guilty
of murder or rape.
a case, the police has to maintain a Case Dairy (CD) recording the details
of every case related activity. “While a case is being investigated
by the police, the case diary (CD) provides the entire contemporaneous
movement of the case to the court,” says senior Supreme Court
lawyer Mukul Rohatgi. “It tells the court about how the investigation
began and how it proceeded. It is a link which informs the court about
the correctness of the investigation.”
Why weren’t the Nithari Case Diaries submitted to
the Special Court?
CBI: The case diaries are not
part of the chargesheets.
the General Diary (GD) extracts submitted to the court genuine
We submitted what we received from Noida Police.
The police always gives a certified copy of the GD.
has no Noida Police official, except Simranjit Kaur, been interrogated?
Unless we investigate all the 19 cases and come
to a conclusion, we cannot interrogate them.
However, Noida Police’s
Nithari case diaries have not been placed before the court. These diaries
contain Pandher’s admission that he directed Koli to rape and
kill the victims, as well as Koli’s statement that he committed
the crimes at Pandher’s instance. The information directly contradicts
CBI’s contention in its chargesheet that Koli alone committed
all the murders.
Tehelka has the
CD of the Payal case (No. 838/06), which was dictated by the then circle
officer, Noida Police, Dinesh Yadav and written by Head Constable Mahesh
Chandra Sharma. The dairy bears Yadav’s signature. Supreme Court
lawyer Prashant Bhushan points out that it is mandatory to place the
CD before the court. However, the CBI saw it fit not to present the
murder CD before the court.
Another key document
maintained by the police while investigating a case is the General Diary
(GD) — a daily record of the activities of the police station.
Tehelka is in possession of a few pages of the GD maintained at the
Sector 20 Police Station in Noida — which has jurisdiction over
Nithari — and the entries in these pages corroborate the information
contained in the Nithari CDs in Tehelka’s possession.
the CBI is confident of Pandher’s innocence, it should’ve interrogated
Noida Police officials and registered a case against them for
falsely implicating him,’ says Rohatgi
30, 2006 — just a day after the case became public — and
written by VP Singh, SHO, Sector 20 Police Station, the GD records the
interrogation of the accused, Pandher and Koli, by Singh and carries
a description of how Koli carried out at least 15 murders at Pandher’s
instance. It also says that both the accused identified many victims
from their photographs.
Why would two Noida
Police officials, who according to the CBI’s own admission received
favours from Pandher, write such things about them? No one knows and
the CBI definitely doesn’t seem interested in finding out why.
So far, with the exception of Simranjeet Kaur, it has not interrogated
even one Noida Police personnel. “If the CBI is so confident about
Pandher’s innocence, it should have interrogated the concerned
Noida Police officials and registered a case against them for falsely
implicating an innocent person,” says Rohatgi.
As a result of the
CBI’s indifference, all senior Noida Police officials found guilty
by a high-level committee instituted by the UP Police, and subsequently
suspended after a sting operation by Tehelka, were reinstated by the
asked Koli to kill
Surendra told us, “I reside in d-5, Sector 31 (Nithari)
which is owned by Moninder Singh Pandher, s/o Sampuran Singh...
Sometimes my employer used to call Payal, alias Deepika, to sleep
with him... One day, my employer told me ‘Deepika has now
started to blackmail me, so kill her. I will bear all the expenses.’
days when [my employer] did not find a girl, he would ask me to
make arrangements. Then whoever — maidservant (kaamwali),
laundrywoman (dhobin) or any boy or girl I could outside the gate
of the house — I would coax into coming inside. First my employer
would rape them and then he would hand them over to me. After raping
them, I would kill them...”
day, [Pandher] told me: Deepika has started blackmailing
me, so kill her’
Accused Moninder Singh... while confessing to his crime told us,
“... Deepika had spent several nights with me and so she
started blackmailing me. To save myself from her, I hatched a
plan along with my servant Surendra and made Surendra kill Payal
and dispose of her body…”
I could not get a girl at night, I could not sleep. Then I would
ask Surendra to make some arrangement. Then he would lure any
boy or girl he found near the house. In this way, I raped several
small girls and boys in the last one or one-and-a-half (1-1½)
years, for which I apologise. Whoever I raped, I got killed by
my servant Surendra according to the plan, so that the secret
was never exposed. Forgive me.”
— recorded by Dinesh Yadav, then DSP, Noida Police
The CBI has submitted
portions of Sector 20 Police Station’s GD to the court along with
the chargesheets. Tehelka has a court certified copy of the extracts
submitted by the CBI and when it showed them to legal experts they had
serious doubts about how authentic these extracts were. “GDs and
CDs are always in a prescribed form and not on the kind of loose papers
which CBI has submitted,” says Khalid Khan, an advocate practising
in Ghaziabad court. It was on Khan’s protest petition that the
court had ordered further investigation in the case of Pinky Sarkar,
one of the Nithari victims.
UP Police Regulation
291-295 spell out in detail how the CDs and GDs are issued and how they
should be written. “The documents submitted in the court are not
even remotely according to the prescribed format. So this matter is
very serious,” Rohatgi said after examining the copy of the GD
submitted by the CBI.
the Case Diary
I (VP Singh)
brought them (Pandher and Koli) out of the lockup and interrogated
them after taking both of them into confidence. The accused Surendra
said, “I have been residing in Sardar Moninder Singh’s
house... for the last three years as a servant… On days
when [Pandher] did not find a girl, he would ask me to make arrangements...
them, I would kill them…
In this manner,
whoever I have killed till now, I am describing you:
1. On 15.03.05,
I called Beena, around 14 –15 years old, inside the house
and left her with my employer Moninder Singh…
15. On 12.11.06,
I called a girl, around 20 years old, inside the house. Sardar
Moninder Singh Pandher after raping her told me to do the same.
I cut her throat at the instance of Moninder Singh after raping
her… My employer then said that he had not enjoyed the girl
and asked me to arrange for another girl. So on the same day I
called another girl Alladi inside the house…”
accused recognised the photographs of the said two victims. The
above mentioned statement of the accused Surendra was supported
by the accused Moninder Singh also…
— recorded by VP Singh, then SHO, Noida Police
Legal experts also
feel that the CD and GD in Tehelka’s possession which contain
Pandher and Koli’s confessions — and which were not submitted
in the court — are in the proper format. “They are on the
specially printed forms bearing the stamp of the SSP Noida’s Office
and fulfilling all the requirements mentioned in the Police Regulation,”
The CBI also submitted
Koli’s statement to the Noida Police to the courts, but his assertion
that he was only following Pandher’s orders is missing in the
statement. This directly contradicts the information contained in the
GD and CD in Tehelka’s possession. Curiously, both sets of statements
are shown as being recorded by the same police officers. There is a
clear discrepancy here.
According to the
CBI, when Koli was giving his statement to the Noida Police, on December
29, 2006, Nandlal, Pappulal and Ramkishan — all fathers of Nithari
victims — were also present there. But when Tehelka contacted
them individually, all three denied having told CBI officials any such
thing. Nandlal said that he was not in Nithari on December 29. Pappulal
and Ramkishan also said that they were not present when Koli gave his
statement to the Noida Police. All three claim that the CBI did not
question them on facts relevant to the murders and did not record the
facts they gave in their respective statements. Nandlal says that CBI
official Layak Ram made him sign three blank papers.
Noida Police officer
Dinesh Yadav’s statement to the CBI also says that the trio was
present at the time of Koli’s confession. If we believe the three
men, then both Yadav and the CBI are wrong. A CBI official, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that none of the three victims’
fathers was present when Koli gave his statement to Noida Police.
There is every reason
to believe that the copies of the GD and CD with Tehelka are genuine.
The copies of the CD, given to Tehelka by Nandlal — who in turn
got it from Noida Police personnel — are in the proper format,
have the SSP’s seal and the co’s signature. The copies from
the GD were given to Jaiteen Sarkar by the police itself on January
31, 2007. Sarkar later gave them to Tehelka.