The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to order any further inquiry
into the Sep 19, 2008 Batla House shootout in which a police
inspector and two suspected Islamist militants were killed.
A division bench comprising Chief
Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan turned down the plea
for any judicial inquiry or a probe by a special investigation team
into the matter. The petition was filed by an NGO called Act Now For
"NHRC (National Human Rights
Commission) is a statutory body and its investigation into the case
is satisfactory. It is very difficult for us to now send the matter
to a third party for any further enquiry," the bench said.
The bench further said NHRC's prestige
and dignity should be maintained.
The NHRC had given a clean chit to the
police in the south Delhi shootout last year, but the NGO termed the
probe as "not fair" and filed the petition.
Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing
for the NGO, had said: "The NHRC did not conduct a fair probe into
the matter. It just relied on the police version and filed the
report on the same lines."
"The NHRC did not visit the spot, nor
did they talk to Mohammed Saif, the lone survivor of the gun battle
and relied only on the police version of the shootout," Bhushan
Bhushan had said there was urgent need
of a judicial probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into the
Also, the court Wednesday issued
notice to Press Council of India asking for laying down guidelines
on how the media should cover such an incident, and slated the next
hearing Oct 21.
The Batla House shootout took place
Sep 19, 2008, in which two suspected militants and a police officer
Two suspected Indian Mujahideen
terrorists were killed in the gun battle. 'Encounter specialist'
police inspector M.C. Sharma also lost his life in the shootout.
It was alleged that police had staged
the incident to ward off pressure after serial blasts in Delhi had
killed 20 people a week before the gunbattle.