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Verdict in Priyadarshini's case a 'benchmark': CBI
October 17, 2006 18:27 IST
Terming the conviction of Santosh Singh for the rape and murder of Priyadarshani Mattoo as a "benchmark" for Central Bureau of Investigation officials and trial courts, CBI Director Vijay Shanker on Tuesday said the verdict would go a long way in restoring the people's faith in the criminal justice system.
"The CBI welcomes the long-awaited judgement that the Delhi High Court gave on Tuesday. We have pressed for the maximum punishment for the guilty and we will strive for the death penalty for him," Shanker told PTI.
Shanker had made it a personal endeavour to ensure speedy justice in the Mattoo case immediately after taking over as CBI director. "The stand of the CBI has finally been vindicated," he said.
During a meeting Priyadarshini's father Chaman Lal Mattoo in August, the CBI director had given an assurance that everything would be done for speedy justice.
"We in the CBI perceive that this judgement shall be applicable as a benchmark for all investigating officers of the CBI as well as trial courts.
We also believe that Tuesday's judgement will go a long way in restoring the faith of citizens in the criminal justice system," Shanker said. "After all the method of investigation by the CBI has been upheld by the Delhi High Court," he said.
Though satisfied with the high court's verdict, Shanker had some regrets. "If the CBI's appeal had come up for an early hearing, the prolonged agony of the Mattoo family would have been minimised. "My heart goes to the Mattoo family," he said.
Following were the submissions made before the Delhi High Court by the CBI in its appeal against acquittal of prime accused Santosh Kumar Singh in Priyadarshini Mattoo rape cum murder case:
- CBI claimed that it had enough evidence including DNA report to hold Singh guilty of rape and murder.
- The blood sample of the accused did match with the genetic materials obtained from the undergarment of the victim soon after the incident.
- Trial court's order acquitting Singh and its findings against the prosecuting agency was "perverse" and completely wrong.
- Clinching evidence against Singh of stalking the victim in the Delhi University Campus before the incident on the evening of January 23, 1996.
- Singh was also seen by the neighbour near the house of the victim before she was found dead.
- Medical reports establish that the injuries suffered by accused Singh on his right hand were fresh as he had a scuffle with the victim at the time of incident.
- As per the CFSL report the broken transparent glass like pieces obtained from the spot had matched with the broken visor pieces of the accused.
- Mattoo's police complaint accusing Singh of stalking her every day is the evidence, which had given a clear picture of Singh's conduct and his involvement in the crime.
Rebutting the CBI's claim, Singh's counsel made following submissions before the Delhi High Court in the rape cum murder case of Priyadarshani Matoo:
- CBI manipulated with the evidence including the DNA report as the blood sample of Singh was tampered with to implicate him in the case.
- CFSL experts did not follow the norms and procedures while preparing the DNA report.
- The probe agency had fabricated the evidence including the victim's post mortem report and seizure memo.
- Accused had recieved injuries on his hand following a road accident nine days before the offence and they were not fresh as alleged by the CBI.
- Prosecution tutored some witnesses including the CFSL expert to give testimony against Singh.
- There was no evidence that the accused was seen in the DU campus before the incident took place.
- No evidence to establish that the broken glass like pieces obtained from the spot were of the visor of the accused.