Mattoo case: CBI felt sentence was `proportionate` to crime

Santosh Singh had brutally raped and murdered Priyadarshini Mattoo, alone in her flat.

New Delhi: The CBI did not file a review petition against the Supreme Court order in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case as the officials concerned were convinced that sentence, commutation of death to life imprisonment, awarded to killer Santosh Singh was "proportionate" to the crime.

The CBI officials and prosecution were unanimous that Supreme Court has accepted all the arguments raised by them but awarding of sentence was the domain of judges where the prosecution cannot press beyond a point.

Santosh, who had brutally raped and murdered Mattoo, alone in her flat, was convicted by Delhi High Court and sentenced to death but it was commuted to life term last year by the Supreme Court.

The victim`s father Chaman Lal Mattoo had sent a request to file a curative petition before the bench pressing for death sentence for Santosh.

The details of file notings show that all the officers who dealt with the case were of the unanimous view that there was no "illegality" in the judgement and matter should be brought to rest.

"Prosecution case has been accepted by the honourable Supreme Court in toto... Considering the mitigating circumstances is well within the ambit of the apex court and the investigating and prosecuting agency have no ground whatsoever to question the authority in grant of a sentence duly prescribed by the statute.”

"The sentence awarded by the Supreme Court is still satisfying as accused has been awarded Life imprisonment which appears proportionate to the crime," one of the officials noted on the case file.

The files, inspected under the RTI Act, show that officials were of the view Supreme Court being the "highest court of the land" there is no need of filing any curative petition etc" against the said judgement.

Santosh, son of a former IPS officer, was charged with rape and murder of 25-year-old Mattoo, a law student at Delhi University. He was acquitted by the Sessions Court but the high court was convinced by arguments of the CBI and sentenced him to death.

The CBI also felt that the Supreme Court had upheld all the points raised by it which proved the crime of Singh but when it came to sentence him, the bench of justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad said six mitigating circumstances were in favour of Singh -- age at the time of crime, marriage and being father of a girl child, death of his father, prospect of dismal future for his family and reversal of judgment by high court and commuted sentence to life term, the notings show.

The CBI officials also felt that since the Supreme Court was not convinced that the case come under rarest of the rare category, there was no point of pressing for death penalty for the accused.