Away from the battle fought amid intense media glare and the public outcry, there has been a personal, unilluminated struggle Priyadarshini Mattoo’s father has waged for 11 “excruciating” years. And Thursday’s judgement — death sentence to the murderer of his daughter — “renewed” his faith in Indian judiciary.
Chaman Lal Mattoo does not believe, anymore, that justice delayed is justice denied. “I do not ordinarily talk about the past because it was filled with pain and agony. But this judgement has renewed our faith in Indian judiciary,” said Matttoo, who had at one point of time given up all hope.
Today, at 72, Mattoo is filled with optimism; he now wants justice for others. Mattoo hopes that the Delhi High Court judgement, sending his daughter’s murderer to the gallows, would serve as a deterrent to those who indulge in such heinous crimes.
“My daughter took up law to protect innocent persons. I hope this judgement sets a trend for others, and families of Jessica Lall and Nitesh Katara also get justice,” said Mattoo.
After a patient wait for 11 long years, the quantum of sentence is of smaller significance for the father, who said, “What could be the reaction of a father who has lost his daughter in such circumstances? Priyadarshini was butchered by the guilty. So any type of punishment, which has been decided by the court, is welcome.”
“At one stage we had given up hope. After seven years the High Court delivered this landmark judgement, speeding things up. So, whatever would be the outcome of the judgment in the Supreme Court, is welcome,” he said over phone from Palampur in Himachal Pradesh.
Mattoo recognises the role of the public. “It is also due to the outrage among public that the case reached its logical conclusion,” he said. “Many others are still waiting for justice. We should fight for the cause of justice for other people who were innocent just like my daughter,” he added. The voice for justice is getting stronger.
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