Batla House encounter case judgment on July 25

Delhi Police personnel at Batla House in Jamia Nagar after the encounter on September 19, 2008. File photo: V. Sudershan  

As the final arguments in the Batla House encounter case concluded on Saturday, Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri asked the Delhi Police several questions that they have struggled to answer.

First and foremost, the ADJ asked why and how the local police was not informed about the encounter, especially when it was supposed to be a very sensitive case.

Verdict in the Batla House encounter case will be pronounced on July 25.

Difficult questions

“Why was the local police not informed about the encounter?” the ADJ posed this questioned to the Special Prosecutor Satwinder Kaur. Ms. Kaur replied that the Special Cell team led by slain cop M.C. Sharma had already informed their seniors before approaching Jamia Nagar.

Ms. Kaur’s argument was countered by senior advocate Satish Tamta, who represents Shahzad, an accused in the case. Mr. Tamta made the counter argument that the prosecution did not present even a single evidence to prove that the local police was kept in confidence.

Going further, he argued before the court that the local police allowed the Special Cell to do whatever it wanted in the aftermath of the encounter, which was explained by the delay of over five hours in registering the case.

Substantiating his argument, Mr. Tamta said: “The local police reached the spot but did not do anything. In fact, when Jogender Singh Joon, a former inspector with the Jamia Nagar police station, reached the spot at 11:40 a.m., everything was done. As per his own statement in the court, after reaching the spot Mr. Joon did not even meet Saif on whose disclosure Shahzad was arrested. When he reached, the injured M.C. Sharma and others were already removed from the spot.”

“Explain delay in FIR”

The ADJ asked the prosecution to explain the delay in filing the FIR when the local police station was nearby. “Is it not true that the local police station is not more than a kilometre from the site of the encounter? Has the prosecution been able to sufficiently explain the delay?” the judge asked.

To this, Ms. Kaur replied that handling the entire episode, given the gravity of the encounter, the death of two alleged militants, and the injury sustained by M.C. Sharma delayed the filing of the case.

Countering the prosecution argument, Mr. Tamta said: “The unexplained delay of five hours in the filing of the FIR should be seen from the point that there could have been any kind of manipulation with facts of the case and tampering with the spot of the crime.”

Argument countered

The main argument of the prosecution has been that Shahzad was present at flat number 108 in L 18 of Batla House, where the encounter took place on September 19, 2008, between officers of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police and suspected terrorists.

Shahzad, who was later arrested in February 2010, claimed that he was not present at the Batla House flat on the day of the encounter and has been falsely accused.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 8:17:27 PM |

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