Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Priyadarshini Mattoo case - Finale

Incredible news. The Delhi High Court convicted Santosh Singh of the murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo. Read the article here.

This is great news. The case has been an eyesore on the justice system since 1999 when a trial judge declared the accused as non-guilty, along with the shocking statement that he knew the accused was guilty, but in the absence of evidence, he had no other choice. Santosh Singh had power behind him, his dad was a senior IPS officer, and it would not be unreasonable for the police to weaken the case in the trial court under pressure.

What has happened is a welcome judgement. Along with hope in the Jessica Lal case, this judgement will bring about some hope in the eyes of citizens that laws in this country are applicable to everyone, no matter how late. This however comes with a caveat; this result is primarily due to the pressure mounted by the moral outrage of citizens and of the media. In the victory of Priyadarshini's family in this case, we all share the victory.

We should learn lessons from these 2 cases. Moral outrage of citizens along with public pressure, when accompanied by judicial scrutiny is mostly enough to force the authorities (police, prosecutors, govt) to behave fairly and under law.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:49 AM