This Article is From Oct 06, 2010

Priyadarshini Mattoo case: Supreme Court to pronounce verdict today

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its judgement in the case relating to rape and murder of Delhi college student Priyadarshini Mattoo by a former IPS officer's son who was sentenced to death by the High Court. (Read: Priyadarshini Mattoo case: A timeline)

An apex court Bench of Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad had on July 29 reserved its verdict on convict Santosh Kumar Singh's appeal challenging the verdict of the Delhi High Court convicting and awarding the death sentence to him for the rape of Priyadarshini over 14 years ago.

Priyadarshini Mattoo, a third year Delhi University law student, was found murdered in January 1996 in her house in south Delhi.

Santosh Singh, a senior IPS officer's son, was charged for murdering her but was acquitted three years later. The magistrate said he was convinced Santosh was guilty but had to acquit him because of tampering of evidence. But Priyadarshini's father Chaman Lal Mattoo didn't give up hope. (Read: Priyadarshini Mattoo case: Who is Santosh Singh)

After considerable public outrage and a sustained media campaign, the appeal against Santosh Singh's acquittal which had been pending in the high court for 6 years came up for hearing on a daily basis. And in October 2006, the High Court reversed the trial court order holding Santosh Singh guilty of raping and killing Priyadarshini. He was later given the death penalty.

The CBI, which is seeking death sentence for Santosh Singh, has argued that the presence of parts of santosh's helmet and the DNA test conclusively prove his guilt - a charge denied by Santosh Singh's lawyer.

The High Court said: "For a murder so grotesque and brutal...the convict deserves nothing less than the death penalty..."

Later, Santosh moved Supreme Court. Today, as the apex court will pronounce its judgement in the case among others, a father will be keenly awaiting the verdict.

"I have faith in the judicial system," said Chaman Lal Mattoo, Priyadarshini's father.