The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Delhi Police on an appeal by Shahzad Ahmed against his conviction in the Batla House encounter case. Shahzad had been charged with murdering the then city police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and assaulting other officers.

Issuing the notice, a Division Bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Indermeet Kaur asked the investigating agency to file a reply to the notice by November 11.

A Delhi court had in July held Shahzad guilty of causing the death of Sharma and attempting to cause the death of Head Constables Balwant Singh and Rajbir Singh by firing at them. The encounter had taken place when a team of Delhi Police Special Cell raided flat No.108 at L-18 in Jamia Nagar’s Batla House area on September 19, 2008, on a tip-off that suspected IM members, responsible for the 2008 Delhi serial blasts, were hiding there.

While holding Shahzad guilty of the charges, the trial court had stated that it did not agree with counsel for the accused which contended that in the absence of independent public witnesses Shahzad could not be convicted on the basis of police testimony.

On Mr. Tamta’s argument that Mohammed Saif (one of occupants of flat No.108) was apprehended by the police from that flat, but the prosecution did not produce him as a witness, the court had said, “Mohammed Saif was an important witness, may be an eyewitness to the incident, and if prosecution did not examine him as a witness, it can be presumed that the said witness would not have deposed in favour of the prosecution.”

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