The Delhi High Court has righted a wrong by awarding on Monday the death sentence to Santosh Kumar Singh, main accused in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case. The accused, a lawyer and the son of a retired police officer, had been acquitted by the trial court in 1999, an action that sparked quite a furore. The Delhi High Court verdict will definitely come as a relief to the thousands who were crestfallen following the trial court order. Public trust in the justice dispensing system will surely go up in the light of the latest judgment.

N.K. Vijayan,
Kizhakkambalam, Kerala

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The adage "truth always wins" has been proved right. The Delhi High Court verdict is a welcome one that will surely go a long way in reducing crimes against women. Let us hope no one fights for the reduction of the penalty.

Srikanth Sriramula,
Karimnagar, A.P.

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An important milestone in the history of the Indian judicial system. Though it took 10 years for the accused to be convicted, the verdict should serve as a deterrent. It is hoped that the several other cases pending in the courts are disposed of in similar fashion.

T. Sanjeev Prakash,

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Hats off to the court for awarding the death penalty to the perpetrator of this dastardly crime. The judiciary has once again proved that all are equal before the law.

Sreelatha Nair,

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Though the accused was acquitted by a lower court in 1999, three years after the crime, the persistence of the CBI and several other organisations helped ensure that justice was finally delivered.

R. Sekar,
Nalco Nagar, Orissa

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Kudos to the judiciary. Praise is also due to the various organisations that fought to see that the accused was convicted. However, this is just one among the innumerable cases that await justice. Let this be a warning to all those who think they can get away even after committing the most heinous of crimes.

Vidya Panicker,
Cherthala, Kerala

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This should be a lesson to all, particularly the rich and powerful, that the arm of the law is long and that sooner or later all criminals will be brought to book. Let us educate our children and youth in the values of brotherhood so that such crimes are not even harboured in our thoughts.

Kris Dev,

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Delivering the judgment, the Delhi High Court Bench rightly said: "We are thus of the opinion that for a crime of this sort which has been committed with pre-meditation and in a brutal manner, the convict deserves no other sentence but death."

Shaista Fayyaz Pathan,

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In the wake of the ongoing debate on capital punishment, the verdict is exemplary. Contrary to the view of all those who say that no human life can be taken away through the death sentence, the crime committed by Santosh Kumar Singh falls under the "rarest of rare" category and he deserves the ultimate punishment. If death sentences awarded by courts are implemented in all earnestness, they will surely serve as effective deterrents.

D. Manikyala Rao,
Gudivada, A.P.

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The verdict against Santosh Kumar Singh comes at a time when some have been clamouring for clemency for Afzal Guru, convicted in the Parliament attack case. Even such people will find it difficult to demand the lesser sentence of life imprisonment for Santosh Kumar Singh. He had almost escaped punishment through his high connections.

It is only because of the public uproar and the media interest that the case took such a U-turn. There is no reason why mercy should be shown to such people. A person who deliberately and consciously takes another's life has no right to feed on the magnanimity of society. A thought must be spared for the kin of those killed or maimed by such persons. Showing leniency to them will be an open invitation to greater trouble.

Soumya Mukherjee,
Naihati, West Bengal