Varying verdicts for same evidence disturbing: Ex-CBI chief

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 22:17

New Delhi: The Priyadarshani Mattoo case
should come as a "food for thought" for the judiciary since
the same set of evidence is being seen differently by courts
leading to inconsistent verdicts, says former CBI Director
Vijay Shankar.

Shankar, who was instrumental in the appeal and
pursuing the case in Delhi High Court as CBI Director,
today said he was "sad" with different verdicts being
pronounced right from the judgement of the trial court.

"Sessions Court acquits the accused on benefit of doubt
and the Delhi High Court convicts him to death penalty and now
Supreme Court finds some merit in his plea...All these
verdicts are based on the same set of evidence," says Shanker,
who has been associated with the case as Additional and
Special Director before becoming the Director of the CBI in
2005.

Shanker, a 1969 batch IPS officer of UP cadre, remembers
the day when the father of the victim had approached him with
tears in his eyes after the Sessions Court had acquitted the
accused.

"In such a gruesome crime of murder of an innocent young
woman, Apex Court`s ruling of today is at best only some sort
of justice (to the family) as justice has been already delayed
for nearly 16 years.

Such varied standards of criminal justice leading to
varied conclusions at Sessions court, the High Court and the
Supreme Court `are disturbing`," he said.

Elaborating, he said "on the same set of evidence,
Sessions court preferred to give benefit of doubt
acquitting the accused, the High Court decided to order him to
be hanged to death treating it as a rarest of rare crimes and
now the Apex court finds some merit in the plea.

"This is a food for thought for all those who have a
belief in rule of law and particularly to those who are
responsible for dispensing justice."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 22:17

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