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

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Abhishek Shukla

New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) The CBI did not file a reviewpetition against the Supreme Court order in the PriyadarshiniMattoo rape and murder case as the officials concerned wereconvinced that sentence, commutation of death to lifeimprisonment, awarded to killer Santosh Singh was"proportionate" to the crime.

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

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

The victim''s father Chaman Lal Mattoo had sent arequest to file a curative petition before the bench pressingfor death sentence for Santosh.

The details of file notings show that all the officerswho dealt with the case were of the unanimous view that therewas no "illegality" in the judgement and matter should bebrought to rest.

"Prosecution case has been accepted by the honourableSupreme Court in toto... Considering the mitigatingcircumstances is well within the ambit of the apex court andthe investigating and prosecuting agency have no groundwhatsoever to question the authority in grant of a sentenceduly prescribed by the statute.

"The sentence awarded by the Supreme Court is stillsatisfying as accused has been awarded Life imprisonment whichappears proportionate to the crime," one of the officialsnoted on the case file.

The files, inspected under the RTI Act, show thatofficials were of the view Supreme Court being the "highestcourt of the land" there is no need of filing any curativepetition etc." against the said judgement.

Santosh, son of a former IPS officer, was charged withrape and murder of 25-year-old Mattoo, a law student at DelhiUniversity. He was acquitted by the sessions court but thehigh court was convinced by arguments of the CBI and sentencedhim to death.

The CBI also felt that the Supreme Court had upheldall the points raised by it which proved the crime of Singhbut when it came to sentence him, the bench of justices H SBedi and C K Prasad said six mitigating circumstances were infavour of Singh -- age at the time of crime, marriage andbeing father of a girl child, death of his father, prospect ofdismal future for his family and reversal of judgment by highcourt and commuted sentence to life term, the notings show.

The CBI officials also felt that since the SupremeCourt was not convinced that the case come under rarest of therare category, there was no point of pressing for deathpenalty for the accused.

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