Delhi court awards death penalty to Ariz Khan for killing inspector in Batla House encounter

Usha Rani Das
·2-min read

New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) A Delhi court Monday awarded death penalty to Ariz Khan for the murder of decorated Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in connection with the sensational 2008 Batla House encounter case, saying the offence fell under the 'rarest of the rare category' warranting the maximum sentence.

Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav said Ariz be hanged by neck till death.

Inspector Sharma of the police's special cell was killed during the Batla House encounter between the police and alleged terrorists in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi following serial bomb blasts in the national capital in which 39 people died and 159 were injured.

The court also imposed a total fine of Rs 11 lakh on Ariz in the case. It said Rs 10 lakh should be immediately released to the family members of Sharma.

'I feel the fine of Rs 10 lakh is insufficient. Hence, I am referring the matter to Delhi Legal Services Authority for award of additional compensation,' the judge further said. Additional Public Prosecutor A T Ansari, appearing for the police, sought death penalty for Ariz, allegedly associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, saying it was not just any killing but a murder of a law enforcement officer who was a defender of justice.

Ansari said the case attracts exemplary punishment, which is capital punishment.

He further said a police officer was killed while discharging his public duty. 'Ariz along with others was carrying deadly weapons which clearly suggests that they were ready to kill anybody in any eventuality. They were the first to start fire without any provocation,' the public prosecutor said. He added that widespread concerns were raised after the incident regarding the safety of police officers and it instilled fear in the minds of the common people. Advocate M S Khan, appearing for Ariz, opposed the death penalty and said the incident was not premeditated.

The court had said on March 8 that it was 'duly proved that Ariz Khan and his associates caused murder of police official and fired gunshot on the police official'.

A trial court had sentenced Indian Mujahideen terrorist Shahzad Ahmed in July 2013 to life imprisonment in connection with the case. His appeal against the verdict has been pending in the high court.

Ariz Khan had fled from the spot and was declared proclaimed offender. He was arrested on February 14, 2018, and faced the trial. PTI URD SJK SA