The Delhi High Court on Friday admitted a CBI plea for early hearing of the appeal in the sensational Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case.
Putting the case on fast track, a division bench of Justices RS Sodhi and PK Bhasin agreed with submission by Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam that the request for early hearing by the investigating agency was in the larger public interest.
However, the counsel for accused Santosh Singh opposed the CBI request on the grounds that the appeal should come through the routine channels.
Santosh, son of former senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer JP Singh, had been acquitted in the case by a sessions court on December 3, 1999.
The judge's remarks in the judgment, "I know he has done it but I will have to acquit him for benefit of doubt" raised many an eyebrow.
Priyadarshini, a third year law student in Delhi University, was raped and murdered in 1996 at her south Delhi residence in Vasant Kunj.
Priyadarshini's family has been fighting a dogged battle to press for early conclusion of the case. The review petition challenging the sessions court order was filed in 2000, but there has been no hearing ever since.