New Delhi, Oct 6 (ANI): Justice RS Sodhi, former Delhi High Court judge, who had awarded the death penalty to Santosh Kumar Singh in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case, said on Wednesday that apex court judges are wiser and they have a profound knowledge of law.
"It is all right if the Supreme Court says that the case does not deserve the maximum punishment. The apex court judges are wiser and they have profound knowledge of law," Sodhi said."I don't view it as a failure of the judicial system. On the contrary, one must understand that the Supreme Court consists of very wise judges with people having sound knowledge of law, " he added.
Satisfied by the judgement, Justice Sodhi said: "It is not only my judgement which has been upheld, but it is rule of law which has been upheld by the apex court."
Meanwhile, Priyadarshini's father CL Mattoo said: "We are shattered and dismayed.We had expected better treatment from the apex court.".
"The death penalty was justified since the Delhi High Court had said that it was a "rarest of rare" cases where the accused was given a number of chances to reform," he added.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence awarded to Santosh Kumar Singh to life imprisonment.
An apex court Bench of Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad pronounced the verdict, while upholding the conviction of accused in the case.
The apex court Bench had earlier on July 29 reserved its verdict on 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.
According to the prosecution, Singh had raped and murdered Priyadarshini Mattoo, a third year Delhi University law student, who was also his junior in the college at her residence in South Delhi's Vasant Kunj in January 1996.
The Delhi High Court had on October 27, 2006 reversed the trial court order holding Singh guilty of raping and killing Priyadarshini.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was seeking death sentence for Singh, had argued that the presence of parts of Santosh's helmet and the DNA test conclusively proved his guilt - a charge, which was denied by his lawyer. (ANI)