CBI slammed in Mattoo case
ON THE first day of hearing in the CBI's appeal in the Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case, the investigative agency was pulled up by the Delhi High Court for botching the entire probe.india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 11:13 IST
ON THE first day of hearing in the CBI's appeal in the Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case, the investigative agency was pulled up by the Delhi High Court for botching the entire probe.
By announcing that the case will be heard on a day-to-day basis from September 5, the court let it be known that it intended to pronounce a judgment soon.
It slammed the CBI for presenting a hazy picture when specifically asked about the recoveries made at the Vasant Kunj residence of Mattoo, the Delhi University student who was raped and strangulated, allegedly by Santosh Singh, in 1996.
"This is what happened during the trial also," a bench of justices R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin told the CBI counsel.
"You people deliberately do this and blame the courts. You leave gaping holes in the evidence, ensuring the acquittal of the accused and then cry 'we didn't get justice'."
The CBI said it had "consistent and tangible evidence to establish the culpability of Santosh Singh -- who had been acquitted by a trial court "for want of evidence" even as the judge said he knew Santosh Singh was "the person who had committed the crime".
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subrahmaniam, representing the CBI, said: "Notwithstanding the trial judge citing 14 reasons for acquitting the accused, we've enough material to connect the accused to the crime."
Terming Santosh Singh's acquittal a "grave miscarriage of justice", the CBI said the court had ignored his presence outside Mattoo's house immediately before the murder and overlooked repeated complaints by Mattoo that the accused was stalking her. The agency said the court also disbelieved the DNA tests which had conclusively proved that Santosh Singh was the murderer.
Indu Jalali, Mattoo's childhood friend, said: "We're very happy that the hearing has finally begun. The decision to hear the case on a daily basis adds to our joy. Finally we hope to get justice."