Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Priyadarshani Mattoo case: Online petition

Sixteen year old Aditya Kaul has started a site so that people may post their online petitions which will then be forwarded to the President of India.

Speaking to ndtv Aditya stated, "In my petition to the President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Justice, I have asked for some action to be taken in the Mattoo case".

The Mattoo case grossly highlights the state of the justice system in India and the urgent overhaul the laws need if we are to progess ahead. Merely double digit growth rates cannot uplift the society there must also be credible law and oprder system in place for people and businesses to thrive.

Indianexpress published the following article which makes for a shocking read:

Don’t tell this to Jessica Lall’s father

G Ananthakrishnan & Tanu Sharma
Posted online: Sunday, March 19, 2006

NEW DELHI, MARCH 18Another grieving father, Chaman Lal Mattoo, whose daughter was murdered — and the accused acquitted — is waiting for six years for hearings to begin in the Delhi High Court. The reason? The trial court’s papers haven’t been translated and typed. But that’s only one part of this story of how justice is denied when justice is delayed. The Sunday Express investigates

How many days should it take to translate three-year court records from Hindi to English—when the major chunk, the 449-page verdict is already in English? In a case that captured national imagination, a murder of a 22-year-old law student in the nation’s capital? Six months? One year? Two years? Three? Four? Five?

Make it six—and still counting.

That’s how long Chaman Lal Mattoo has been waiting.

His daughter, Priyadarshini Mattoo, was murdered on January 23, 1996. In December 1999, the lower court acquitted the accused, lawyer Santosh Kumar Singh, son of IPS officer J P Singh who retired as Joint Commissioner of Police that year. The CBI went into appeal to the Delhi High Court.

That appeal hasn’t even come up for hearing.

The story of the Mattoo case shows what lies behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Justice of India Justice Y K Sabharwal’s comments last week that the “justice-delivery mechanism” is in a state of “collapse.”

The Sunday Express sifted through trial court and High Court records to piece together the judicial timetable of the case. It shows, in shocking detail, how justice is denied when justice is delayed.

And the reasons behind the delay:

lights in the courtroom to a judge on leave, from the case being transferred to another judge by mistake to lawyers suspending work to even the tantrums of the accused. But first, the High Court. The appeal against the lower court acquittal was drawn up on March 7, 2000. As per the High Court’s official website, that appeal has figured only six times since it was admitted on July 18, 2000.

And on each occasion, it moved not one inch forward:

• March 5, 2002: Preparation of “paperbook” under process, listed for directions on April 9. The “paperbook” is a compilation of all papers from the trial by the High Court Registry—daily orders, witness statements, and the judgment. Papers in local languages—in this case, Hindi—are translated into English and re-typed. Mattoo’s father says that there are merely 300 pages in Hindi.
• April 9: Preparation of paperbook still under process.
• October 23: Registry directed to expedite preparation of paperbook and appeal listed for hearing.
• March 26 and May 21, 2003: Case listed. On both occasions, the paperbook wasn’t ready.
• In two days, it will be three years since then, no word yet on the paperbook.

The Sunday Express contacted former Additional Solicitor General of India Altaf Ahmed who represented CBI in the Mattoo appeal. Asked to explain why despite the October 23, 2002 order nothing has moved, he said: “The CBI did move the court for an early hearing but efforts did not fructify. The High Court Registry, despite clear orders from a Division Bench, failed to implement it timely.”

Asked why, he said: “There is so much congestion of work due to pendency which has snowballed into this kind of inefficiency.” The Registrar-General, the head of the Registry, was unavailable for comment. A Registry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that given the backlog of cases, the fate of the appeal wasn’t “alarming.”

Agreed R K Naseem, counsel of the accused. “Preparation of paperbook is a time-taking procedure. The hearing can’t take off unless it is ready. Cases instituted before 2000 are pending. No special treatment can be given to this case.”
Priyadarshini’s father certainly knows that.

Visit the above link for more articles sheding light on the case so far.

About Ms Mattoo & the background of the case:

Priyadarshini Mattoo, a third-year law student was found raped and strangled to death in the bedroom of her South Delhi apartment with 19 injuries on her person.

Santosh Kumar Singh, a law student in the University of Delhi and the son of a senior officer of the Indian Police Service was charged with the rape and murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo.

The judge had this to say when he delivered the verdict: "Though I know he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him, giving him the benefit of the doubt."

The court faulted the CBI on several counts, including for not following "official procedure", keeping away from the court evidence collected by it, fabricating documentary evidence on behalf of the accused; "fabricating DNA technology"; and keeping away the fingerprint report from the court, thus depriving the court of an opportunity to review it judicially. Responding to the CBI's failure to make available the chance fingerprint report to the court, Judge Thareja wondered "if the CBI during trial knowingly acted in this manner to favour the accused."

You can find information about the case on wikipedia:

1 comment:

Aditya Raj Kaul said...


Priyadarshini means lovely. And so she was. A lovely girl with massive zeal for life. Law and Music were among her passions. She was the apple of her parents' eyes, as is any other daughter to her parents. She was brutally raped and murdered by the son of an IGP. This has been the only case in the history of India where the judge himself clearly wrote that he knew the accused was the culprit and CBI had not acted fairly.

It was a shame for the country's judicial system. A shame for New Delhi.

To add salt to the injury, the culprit - Santosh Kumar Singh - is a lawyer in Delhi's Tees Hazari Court.

How many more years are we going to hide our heads in the sand? How many more years are we going to assume that our daughters and sisters are safe?

This in a country where women are traditionally given more respect than anywhere else in the world. How ironical?

Justice J.P. Thareja's words:

''Though I know he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him, giving him the benefit of the doubt."

"The CBI in the matter of DNA evidence has not acted fairly. It tampered with the evidence of clothes of the deceased and also the blood sample of the accused.It even fabricated the documentary evidence and also the Malkhana Register of the CBI as is clear from the discrepancies."

Priyadarshini's parents' words to us:

"Your email has infused hope and strength in us and we know that after we are gone, people like you will carry this mission forward and you will bring the guilty to book. Our prayers and blessings are with you."

10 years .. Justice denied. She is waiting with her lovely smile as are her parents' wet eyes and a broken heart.

23rd January, 1996 she was murdered.

Sunday, 23rd July is her birthday. A war cry for justice in the heart of Delhi, a protest that shakes the pillars of the Govt. and one demand - Let justice be delivered immediately.

Are you ready to give her justice?

Join us :

Time: 4:30 p.m.
Date: 23rd July, 2006


To watch a video on the Priyadarshini Mattoo Case visit the link:

To sign the Petition for retrial in Priyadarshini Mattoo Case click here:

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Aditya Raj Kaul