Mattoo`s family to file curative petition in SC

The family of Priyadarshini Mattoo will file a petition in the Supreme Court against its recent verdict commuting to life term the death sentence awarded to Santosh Kumar who had raped and killed the 25-year-old girl.

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2010, 22:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The family of Priyadarshini
Mattoo will file a petition in the Supreme Court against its
recent verdict commuting to life term the death sentence
awarded to Santosh Kumar who had raped and killed the
25-year-old girl.

The victim`s family also accused CBI of "shoddy"
investigations and leaving sufficient loopholes in the
arguments before the apex court which resulted in commutation
of the death penalty to life imprisonment.
"We, the parents of Priyadarshini Mattoo, will file a
review petition in the Supreme Court followed by a curative
petition," the family said in a statement.

The move came after the CBI decided not to file an appeal
against the verdict which came on October 6.

Pointing out the alleged deficiencies in the CBI probe,
the family said "the High Court completely overturned the
findings of the trial court, giving precedence to `justice`
over `jurisprudence` and termed the case as `rarest of the
rare` and therefore awarded the death penalty...

"The High Court severely censured the investing agency,
the CBI, and the prosecution for poor and careless
investigation and weak prosecution," it said.
The statement said "...the evidence presented by the
prosecution was so weak that it had therefore to give him the
benefit of the doubt and acquit him. The court severely
reprimanded the CBI and the prosecution for shoddy
investigation and presentation of the case.

"It is also pertinent that after the case was concluded
in the trial court, the CBI did not pursue the case in the
Delhi High Court for six years till it was goaded into action
by the public outcry over the Jessica Lal Murder case, which
along with media pressure led to the Priyadarshini Mattoo case
being heard on a fast track," the family said.

The family flayed the CBI saying, "it is obvious that
sufficient loopholes were left in the arguments to enable the
apex court to commute the death penalty to life imprisonment.
The CBI again failed to properly present its case."

The victim`s family also asked for effective reforms in
the criminal investigation system.

"It is strongly felt that in view of the inability of the
country`s prime investigating agency, the CBI, and the
prosecutors it employs, to provide proper justice to a vast
number of criminal cases, it has become incumbent on the
authorities concerned to institute suitable and effective
reforms in the criminal investigation system to ensure proper
and speedy justice to restore confidence of the population in
our criminal investigation system," the statement said.

Santosh had raped and murdered Priyadarshini, a
third-year law student, in January 1996.

PTI