The Delhi High Court on Wednesday put its stamp of approval on the National Human Rights Commission’s report on the Batla House encounter here last year in which two suspected terrorists of the Indian Mujahideen and a Delhi police Inspector, Mohan Chand Sharma, were killed.
The Commission had given a clean chit to the Delhi police saying that it was not a fake encounter as “the police party engaged in the encounter had fired at the alleged terrorists in self-defence.”
The order by a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Manmohan came on a petition by non-government organisation ANHAD seeking a direction to the Delhi Government to conduct a judicial inquiry into the encounter alleging that the Commission had failed to conduct a proper probe into the incident.
The petitioner argued that the Commission had accepted the police’s version of the encounter as it neither visited the encounter site nor cared to talk to the eye-witnesses to the shoot-out.
“The NHRC is a statutory body and if that body has come to the conclusion that it is not a fake encounter, then the court should not interfere in it,’’ the Bench said its order.
The Bench also observed that the Commission’s “prestige and independence has to be preserved at any cost”.
The Government and the Delhi police had from the very beginning opposed the plea for a judicial inquiry into the encounter.
Justifying their opposition to the demand, the police had argued before the Court that a judicial inquiry might cause demoralisation among their officials.
The Commission’s in its report on July 22 said that the action taken by the police party in which Mohammed Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid received fatal injuries and died is fully protected by law.
The Commission had conducted the probe on a complaint by Kamran Siddiqui, general secretary of non-government organisation Real Cause, and on a direction by the Court on ANHAD’s petition questioning the police version of the encounter.
“We are clearly of the opinion that having regard to the material placed before us, it cannot be said that there has been any violation of human rights by the action of the police party. Since there was no violation of human rights, nothing further is required to be done by the Commission and the case is closed’’, the probe report stated.
Referring to the injury marks on Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, the report said: “The locus of firearm injuries on his body corroborates the police version that a volley of bullets was fired on the police team as soon as it entered the flat occupied by Mohammed Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid’’.
The encounter had taken place a week after the serial blasts in the Capital last September.