() (July 23, 1970 - January 23, 1996) was a 25 year old law student who was found raped
at her house in New Delhi
on January 23, 1996. On October 17, 2006, the Delhi High Court found Santosh Kumar Singh guilty on both counts of rape and murder and on October 30 of the same year sentenced him to death
. On October 6, 2010, the Supreme Court of India
commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.Santosh Kumar Singh, the son of a Police Inspector-General, had earlier been acquitted by a trial court in 1999, and the High Court decision was widely perceived in India
as a landmark reversal and a measure of the force of media pressure in a democratic
setup. This decision went in favor because the facts were not presented correctly in the lower court. The intense media spotlight also led to an accelerated trial, unprecedented in the tangled Indian court system.
Significance of the case
The acquittal of Santosh Singh in 1999 had led to a massive public outcry and the investigating agency CBI
, under considerable pressure, challenged the judgment in the Delhi
high court on February 29, 2000. Public pressure mounted greatly after an acquittal verdict in the Jessica Lal
case, where a number of accused including politician's son Manu Sharma
were released despite the murder taking place in a high-society bar in the presence of dozens of people.
Justices RS Sodhi and PK Bhasin shifted from a traditional lax pace, with hearings every few months, to a... Read More