Businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surinder Koli were sentenced to death by a special court on Friday for rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl Rimpa Halder, one of the 19 victims in the sensational Nithari serial killings.
Pronouncing the sentence in a packed court room, Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Rama Jain held the crimes committed by 55-year-old Pandher and 38-year-old Koli to be "rarest of rare" deserving capital punishment.
While the counsel of victim's family, Khalid Khan termed the verdict as a "slap on the face of the CBI" which gave a clean chit to Pandher, the businessman's son Karandeep Singh said his father was innocent and he would appeal against the judgement in the Allahabad High Court.
The Court had on Thursday convicted Pandher and his servant under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, rape, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
In the final arguments on Friday morning, the CBI had sought death penalty for Koli and left the quantum of punishment for Pandher for the court to decide, as the agency had no charges against him in this case.
During the half-hour long arguments, agency's counsel S P Ahluwalia termed the killings by Koli as "rarest of rare" and a fit case for capital punishment.