Defence lawyer in the Batla House encounter case, senior advocate Satish Tamta, argued that the police have no direct evidence against Shahzad, one of the accused in the case.
On the second day of the final arguments on Monday, Mr. Tamta highlighted the contradictions and loopholes in the police story implicating Shahzad as one of the occupants of flat No. 108 when the encounter took place at L-18 of Batla House on September 19, 2008.
Mr. Tamta argued: “As opposed to their claim that Shahzad was one of the occupants of the flat, the police have failed to provide sufficient material evidence, except the passport, which was seized in doubtful circumstances, to prove the claim. One expects that at least they would produce a cloth or any day-to-day mundane material evidence to prove that Shahzad was there, but there is nothing.”
Veracity of police questioned
Mr. Tamta also questioned the veracity of the police claim of having seized the passport from the flat, while arguing that there was no evidence to prove the same.
“The seized passport, as per the norm in case of seizure of a document, was not signed by any witness. There is no picture of the seizure made at the spot to prove that,” he argued.
He also highlighted that several police witnesses claimed that Shahzad fled the flat during the encounter, but none of them could give any description of the accused they had allegedly seen fleeing.
“None of the witnesses who claimed seeing the accused, have given his description, not even about the dress he was allegedly wearing. Actually, if you have not seen the accused then how can you identify him,” Mr. Tamta argued.
“It is quite important to note that the police have not made even a single resident of the Batla House, as per the usual procedure, a witness in the case. The prosecution claims that there were few boys in another flat on the same floor where the encounter took place. Why didn’t the police make them a witness in the case?” Mr. Tamta questioned.
“Problem with police witnesses”
Seeking the attention of the Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri, Mr. Tamta also pointed out that the site plan of the flat didn’t match with the police witnesses who claimed that the accused fled through the main door firing towards the police party. The concerned parts of the flat had no bullet marks.
“The police claims that Shahzad fled, but how could he have fled when the police was present downstairs and there was no way to run through the roof?” Mr. Tamta questioned.
He highlighted that the houses in the proximity of flat No. 108 were much lower than the three-storey building where the encounter took place.
He said there was no way Shahzad could have jumped from the roof.