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Mattoo case: How '13' proved lucky
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 30, 2006 22:27 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation has said it is satisfied with the death sentence given to Santosh Kumar Singh, convicted of raping and murdering Priyadarshani Mattoo.
'The CBI has expressed satisfaction at the landmark judgment of the Delhi high court, which has dispensed death sentenced to the accused Santosh Kumar Singh for the rape and murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo.
'The accused had been stalking the victim for almost two years prior to the crime and a number of complaints had been lodged against him with the police in this connection,' the agency said in a press statement.
The case was handed over to the CBI as Santosh's father J P Singh was then a senior Delhi police officer.
"The agency conducted an objective and meticulous investigation. DNA finger printing successfully linked the accused with the heinous crime.
"The CBI made all possible efforts for early hearing of its appeal against the acquittal order in this case," CBI Director Vijay Shanker said.
He hoped that the order will set a benchmark for the trial courts and also the investigating agencies to introspect their functioning and for bringing about overall improvement."
For CBI, the unlucky number 13 has played a crucial role in nailing Singh.
Vijay Shanker said the investigating agency relied on 13 counts to pin down Singh while preparing the arguments before the high court.
The CBI accepts that they attempted to get past the ill-fated number by looking for more evidence against Singh, but failed.
"Though we tried, we could not avoid the number 13 and we had to rely on what we had," said a relaxed senior CBI official after hearing the quantum of sentence.
The judgment of Justice R S Sodhi and P K Bhasin referred to the 13 reasons on which the prosecution relied to convict Singh.
"This case is sought to be established against the accused only on circumstantial evidence and the 13 circumstances relied upon by the prosecution," the judge said.