The Delhi High Court on Monday granted one-month parole to Santosh Singh, serving life imprisonment in the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape-cum-murder case of 1996, for writing his dissertation for his LLM degree from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu under the distant education programme.
Justice Mukta Gupta granted the parole subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs.25,000 by him in the lower court concerned.
Additional Sessions Judge (retd.) G. P. Thareja had acquitted Santosh in 1999, observing that the Central Bureau of Investigation had tampered with the blood sample to prove the case.
Mr. Thareja had observed that “he knew the accused standing before him had committed the crime but he could not hold him guilty for lack of evidence and was giving him the benefit of the doubt”.
Priyadarshini Mattoo, a law student at the Campus Law Centre of Delhi University, was raped and strangulated to death on the evening of January 23, 1996, at her residence in Vasant Kunj in South Delhi.
Later, the High Court had set aside his acquittal and sentenced him to death on an appeal by the investigating agency. However, the Supreme Court finally upheld his conviction but reduced his sentence to life imprisonment.
Santosh had sought parole for three months but Justice Gupta reduced it to one month saying that as per the university rule two weeks to one month time is sufficient to submit the dissertation.