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The Supreme Court Wednesday commuted the death penalty given to Santosh Kumar Singh and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the 1996 rape and murder of Delhi University student Priyadarshini Mattoo.

His death sentence was set aside by an apex court bench headed by Justice H.S. Bedi.

Mattoo, the third year student in the university’s law college, was found dead Jan 23, 1996.

Santosh, the son of a senior Indian Police Service officer, had been sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court in October 2006 for raping and murdering his junior in her uncle’s flat in Vasant Kunj here.

Mattoo’s father had moved the Delhi High Court after the Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court acquitted Singh in December 1999.

On Oct 17, 2006, the high court had reversed the verdict of the trial court and gave Singh death sentence.

Mattoo had complained against Santosh, a lawyer in the Tis Hazari court here, to police and her college authorities. She had said she was being harassed by Singh.

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