Priyadarshini Mattoo case: High Court grants parole to convict for LLM exam

The Delhi High Court today granted parole to Santosh Kumar Singh, who is serving life term for rape and murder of law student Priyadarshini Mattoo in 1996, to write his LLM examination.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted him parole for four days, i.e. from today till May 24, as his exams are scheduled to begin from tomorrow.

He is pursuing LLM in a second branch and he had completed first branch of LLM in 2014 and thereafter took admission in the second branch.

The court noted that he has been availing parole and furlough in the past also and verification of his claim that he has to appear in the exam has been done by the authorities.

The judge directed him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 2,000 and a surety of the like amount, and disposed of his petition.

The court noted the submission of Singh’s counsel that as and when he would apply for parole or furlough in future, he shall keep mind his schedule for exams.

During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra opposed the parole plea saying this modus operandi of taking admission in a course and then asking for parole to come out of the jail was defeating the purpose of the system.

He also objected to the way jail officers approve the relief to some of the prisoners as if “they are distributing sweets”.

The court, however, said the education system is encouraged in prison so that there is positivity in jail.

Singh was earlier on parole from April 17 to May 1 for his personal contact programme (PCP), which is a part of his course, and surrendered thereafter.

His lawyer also filed an affidavit detailing his education, as directed by the court earlier.

Mattoo, 25, was raped and murdered in January 1996. Singh, a law student in Delhi University, was acquitted by the trial court in the case on December 3, 1999, but the Delhi High Court had on October 27, 2006 reversed the decision, holding him guilty of rape and murder and awarded him death penalty.

Singh, son of a former IPS officer, had challenged his conviction and death sentence awarded by the high court.

In October 2010, the Supreme Court had upheld Singh’s conviction, but reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment.

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