Priyadarshini Mattoo

Priyadarshini Mattoo

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Priyadarshini Mattoo

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Priyadarshini Mattoo () (July 23, 1970 - January 23, 1996) was a 25 year old law student who was found raped and murdered 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...
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