New Delhi: The Supreme Court today
reserved its judgement on the plea of Santosh Kumar Singh
challenging the verdict of the Delhi High Court convicting and
awarding death sentence to him for rape and murder of Delhi
University student Priyadarshini Mattoo over 14 years ago.
A Bench comprising Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad,
after hearing the arguments advanced by advocates appearing
for Singh and CBI, reserved its verdict.
Singh, son of former senior IPS officer, was acquitted
by the trial court on December 3, 1999 but the Delhi High
Court had on October 27, 2006, reversed that decision by
holding him guilty for the offence of rape and murder.
CBI has sought upholding of the death sentence by
saying that the High Court had correctly appreciated the
evidence leading to his conviction.
Singh, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, has contended
the "acquittal by the trial court was correct and proper".
Senior advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for
40-year-old Singh, contended that the High Court conviction
was not based on the proper appreciation of the evidence on
Mattoo, the 23-year-old law student, was found
murdered at her south Delhi residence on January 23, 1996.
Justices R S Sodhi (since retired) and P K Bhasin of
the High Court, while setting aside the lower court`s verdict,
had termed it as "perverse" and sentenced Singh to death,
saying "he deserved nothing less".
Singh`s acquittal by Additional Sessions Judge G P
Thareja on December 3, 1999, had sparked an outrage as the
judge had said that he knew the accused had committed the
crime but gave him the benefit of doubt because of lack of