2008 Batla House encounter case: Delhi High Court allows police to lead additional evidence

In the 2008 Batla House encounter case, suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist Shahzad Ahmed was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Published: 10th February 2018 12:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2018 12:10 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi High Court (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today allowed the police to lead additional evidence before the trial court in the 2008 Batla House encounter case in which suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Shahzad Ahmed was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nearly five years after Ahmed appealed in the high court against his conviction, the prosecution sought permission to bring in additional evidence to bolster its case.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta allowed a Delhi Police application, filed last month, "in interest of justice".

It, however, imposed strict conditions on the police and the trial court regarding the recording of additional evidence in the case.

The bench directed the prosecution not seek any adjournment on any ground and be ready with its additional witnesses for being examined on a day-to-day basis before the trial court.

"The right of the appellant (convict) to cross-examine the said witnesses will be permitted in accordance with law," it said, noting that the lower court will complete the recording of the evidence in one month from February 19.

The bench said that the convict's statement with regard to additional evidence be recorded within one week after the conclusion of recording of additional evidence.

While asking the parties to cooperate in the proceedings before the trial court, the bench directed the authorities to place before it by April 30, the "entire transcript" of the process conducted before the trial court.

It also said that if the judicial officer is unable to record the evidence, he shall request some other judge to deal with it.

The bench said that the convict shall be produced before the trial court on every date of hearing.

The police moved the application in the pending appeal filed by the convict against the trial court's July 2013 verdict, sentencing him to life imprisonment for killing decorated police officer, inspector M C Sharma and injuring two other personnel.

The convict filed an appeal in September 2013 against the trial court order. Subsequently, the police also approached the high court seeking enhancement of the sentence awarded to him.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the police, had said that certain facts regarding the forensic report of the voice samples needed to be brought on record in the case.

Senior advocate Satish Tamta, appearing for the convict, had contended that allowing the application would result in an unnecessary waste of time and delay the decision in the appeal even further.

He submitted that the convict was in prison for over eight years.

Ahmed was convicted by the trial court in the September 19, 2008 Batla House encounter case.

A team of Delhi Police Special Cell had raided a Batla House flat in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi following a tip-off that terrorists allegedly involved in the September 13, 2008 serial blasts in the national capital, were holed up there.

He is also facing trial in the serial blasts case. The multiple blasts had left 26 dead and 133 injured.

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