Santosh Kumar Singh
State through CBI
(Priyadarshini Mattoo case)
Citation: (2010) 9 SCC 747
Bench: Harjit Singh Bedi, Chandramauli Kr. Prasad
No. of Judges: 2
Acts: Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code
- Priyadarshini Mattoo was found raped and murdered at her house in New Delhi on 23.01.1996.
- She had lodged several complaints of harassment, intimidation and stalking against the accused Santosh Kumar Singh who was also a student of LL.B. in campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.
- Despite the earlier two undertakings given by the accused subsequent to the complaints registered against him by the deceased at the R.K. Puram and Vasant Kunj Police Station on 25.02.1995 and 16.08.1995 respectively, on 06.11.1995, he again tried to harass the deceased at the Campus Law Centre. After this an FIR under section 354 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 was lodged against him.
- On the day of the murder when the deceased was alone at her residence, the accused, Vasant Kunj came at her house. On the arrival of the security guard Rajinder Singh at the deceased’s residence it was found that Priyadarshini Mattoo was lying under the double bed and there was no movement of her body.
- Further, an FIR was lodged under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at his instance at the Police Station of Vasant Kunj.
- Whether there was a continuous harassment and the personal undertakings and apologies rendered.
- Whether there something about the crime which calls for the death sentence and renders sentence of imprisonment for life inadequate.
- There was a continuous harassment and the personal undertakings and apologies rendered. This has been clearly mentioned in the facts. Also, Santosh gave an undertaking that he would harassment, intimidation and stalking to the girl which in itself an answer to the point that he was harassing Priyadarshini Mattoo.
- SC bench noticed that, as the balance sheet was in favour of Santosh Kumar Singh and also justice will be rightfully done, if Santosh Kumar Singh’s death penalty is commuted to life imprisonment.
On 6 October, 2010 the Bench comprising Justices H.S. Bedi and C.K. Prasad upheld the conviction of Santosh Kumar Singh by the Delhi High Court in the fourteen year old Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case. It, however, reduced the punishment of death sentence to life imprisonment saying that certain things were in favour of the appellant.