Batla House fit case for magisterial probe: NHRC

March 18th, 2009 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that a magisterial inquiry is mandatory in every case of death due to police action and the Batla House shootout was no exception.
It also said the Delhi Police was dragging its feet over conducting a probe into the Sep 19, 2008, gunbattle in which two alleged terrorists were killed.

The court was hearing NHRC’s view on whether a magisterial inquiry can be held into the Batla House shootout.

Counsel for NHRC submitted before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna that the commission relies on three basic criteria to conduct an inquiry like a post mortem report, inquest report and magisterial inquiry.

“And if these criteria are not there then permission from the court is sought,” the counsel for NHRC told the court, adding that a magisterial inquiry is a mandatory guideline and it should have been done in the Batla House case.

On this, the court pulled up Delhi Police on why the probe was not conducted even after six months of the incident, and said: “We have no option left but to ask the NHRC to conduct a magisterial inquiry so that no one can undermine the commission.”

Counsel for Delhi Police Mukta Gupta told the court that the entire study material of the case will be given to the commission in two weeks’ time.

The court, after giving time to Delhi Police, slated the matter for Apr 8.

The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by an NGO - Act Now For Harmony and Democracy - seeking a judicial inquiry into the Sep 19, 2008 firefight in which two suspected terrorists, allegedly involved in the Sep 13 Delhi serial bombings, were killed.

The two were suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists, Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid. The police also arrested Mohammed Saif and Zeeshan for the serial bombings in the capital.

The Batla House shootout took place a week after serial bombings rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.

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