New Delhi: The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Santosh Kumar Singh in the 14-year-old Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case but reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment, saying certain things were in his favour.
“The conviction is maintained,” a Bench comprising Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad said.
However, the Bench said “To our mind, certain things are in favour of appellant (Singh). We are converting the punishment of death sentence into the life imprisonment.”
Singh, son of former senior IPS officer, had challenged his conviction and death sentence awarded by the Delhi High Court which had set aside his acquittal by the trial court in the case.
The apex court had on July 29 reserved its verdict on Singh’s appeal.
Singh, a law student in the Delhi University, had raped and murdered Priyadarshini, a third-year law student, in January 1996.
Singh was acquitted by the trial court on December 3, 1999, but the Delhi high court had on October 27, 2006, reversed that decision by holding him guilty of rape and murder.
CBI has sought upholding of the death sentence saying the high court had correctly appreciated the evidence leading to his conviction.