‘Delhi Govt. refusal for Batla House probe can fuel suspicion’

Staff Reporter

Would be a fact-finding exercise, report would not be used anywhere: High Court

“Report to be submitted to the NHRC”

Next hearing on May 4

NEW DELHI: Prodding the Delhi Government to order a judicial inquiry into the Batla House encounter in the Capital last year, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said its obduracy to oppose the demand would only deepen suspicions about the bona fides of the Delhi police in the case.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A. P. Shah and Justice N. K. Kaul said the judicial inquiry if conducted would only be a fact-finding exercise and its report would not be used in any other proceedings connected with the encounter.

The Bench said the inquiry report would be submitted to the National Human Rights Commission which would decide the future course of action after perusing it.

“When other States conducted a judicial enquiry into every encounter and submitted the probe report to the NHRC, then why the Delhi Government was objecting to it, trying to treat the encounter as a different case,” the Bench asked.

Directing the counsel for the Government to take instructions from his client in the matter, the Court adjourned the hearing to May 4.

The Bench has been hearing a petition by an NGO seeking a probe into the much talked about encounter.

The Delhi police from the very beginning have been opposing the demand for a judicial inquiry into the encounter.

Justifying their opposition to the demand, the police had earlier this month submitted before the Court that a judicial inquiry might cause demoralisation among its officials.

The petitioner, Act Now for Harmony and Democracy, sought a judicial inquiry into the “encounter” arguing that the facts and circumstances of the incident on September 19, 2008, in which two suspected terrorists and a Delhi Police officer were killed created doubts in the public mind about its veracity.

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