Batla House is a locality in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, where an encounter between
the Delhi police and alleged terrorists took place on September 19, 2008.
The terrorists were suspected to be the members of terror outfit, Indian Mujahideen.
The encounter had taken place within a week of 2008 Delhi serial blasts
that had killed 30 people.
Blasts had taken place at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and
India Gate. The Delhi police received intel about terrorists hiding at L-18
A police team carried out the raid when the encounter took place.
Two suspected terrorists, identified as Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid, were
killed in the Batla House encounter.
Delhi Police's inspector Mohan Chand Sharma received a gunshot during the
encounter and died. Some suspected operatives identified as Ariz Khan and
One IM operative Mohammad Saif surrendered to the police.
Police launched a manhunt for the escaped terrorists. In January 2010, Shahzad was arrested from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Three months later in April 2010, the police filed a chargesheet saying the
encounter took place as the Delhi police followed the lead in the serial blasts
Years later in 2018, Ariz Khan was arrested from Banbasa at the India-Nepal
According to the Police, Khan had acquired a Nepali citizenship card and
passport under the fake identity of being one "Mohammad Salim".
The Delhi police filed another chargesheet in February 2011 against Shahzad.
He was convicted of the murder of Mohan Chand Sharma and sentenced to life
imprisonment in 2013 by the trial court.
On 15 February 2011, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar framed
charges against accused Shahzad Ahmed alias Pappu for the offences of:
murder (Section 302);
attempt to murder (Section 307)
section 333 (causing hurt to public servant)
353 (assault to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty);
186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions)
201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code,
Besides section 27 of the Arms Act for his role in the 'encounter'.
A trial court had in 2013 convicted other accused namely Shahzad Ahmad,
Indian Mujahideen operative, to life imprisonment for murdering constables
Balwant Singh and Rajbir Singh and causing the death of Inspector MC Sharma by
firing on them.
The court found Shahzad guilty of murder, attempt to murder, obstructing
and assaulting public servants and grievously injuring the police officers to
deter them from performing their duty. While convicting the accused Shahzad,
Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri in the judgment dated 25th July
2013 observed thus:
"It agitates in my mind that the incident in question was not a sudden
confrontation between police and the assailants. The police had already a piece
of information, receiving which, a raiding party was formed well in advance.
Despite all this, Inspector M.C. Sharma did not wear any body protection device
i.e. bulletproof jacket. Moreover, at least two members of the raiding party
were having no weapon with them, despite knowing the fact that they may face
It is not clear whether it was merely a misadventure or lack of
professionalism in Delhi Police or scarcity of weapons with Delhi police.
Whatsoever it may be, it did not give any license to the occupants of a flat to
fire at police persons who came there to investigate a case, merely because they
were unarmed or not wearing any bulletproof jacket. They were expected to assist
the police and not to attack them. Accused is thus convicted for offense
punishable U/s 186/353/333/307/302/34 IPC.
A Delhi Court on Monday awarded death penalty to convict Ariz Khan in the
matter relating to the Batla House encounter of 2008 where police inspector
Mohan Chand Sharma and two alleged terrorists were killed during the showdown
between the two parties.
In awarding the death sentence, the Court observed that it is a fit case
falling in the "rarest of the rare" category deserving the maximum sentence
under the law.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav pronounced the order on the
sentencing of convicts in the open Court.
"Convict on account of his despicable act has forfeited his right to live. After
balancing mitigating circumstances against aggravating circumstances, it is
concluded that it is the rarest of the rare cases where a convict deserves the
maximum sentence provided under the law. It is the level of magnitude, degree of
brutality, attitude and mindset of wrongdoer behind the crime along with other
factors which makes it a rarest of rare case. Protection of society and
deterring criminals is an avowed object of law and this is required to be
achieved by imprisonment appropriate sentence. The most appropriate sentence for
convict like Ariz Khan will be death penalty. Interest of justice will be met if
convict is awarded death penalty."
The Court also went ahead to observe that "It should not be forgotten
that deadly weapons like AK-47 and two pistols were retrieved from the flat
where the shoot out took place. The defence has not able to clarify as to for which
purpose these deadly weapons were kept by the convict and his accomplices in the
flat. Considering the nature of devastation that these weapons can cause, it
will be safe to conclude that these weapons were kept in the flat with a view to
indulge terrorist and anti social activities."
While observing that the natural and inescapable conclusion in the
matter shows that there is no chance of reformation of the convict Ariz Khan, it was
also observed by the Court that the abhorrent and brutal act of firing on
policemen without any provocation shows that he is not only a threat to the
society but also is an enemy of the State. The following punishments were
awarded by the Court:
Sentenced to death for offence of sec. 302 of IPC and fine of Rs. 10 lakhs.
He shall be hanged by neck till he is dead. In default of payment of fine,
convict shall undergo simple imprisonment for 6 months.
Convict to be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three months for
sec. 186 of IPC.
Sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine of Rs. 20,000 for
sec. 333of IPC. In default of payment of fine, convict shall undergo simple
imprisonment for 6 months.
Sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 2 years for sec. 353 of IPC.
Sentenced to imprisonment for life and fine of Rs. 20,000 for offence
punishable under sec. 307 IPC. In default of payment of fine, convict shall
undergo simple imprisonment for 6 months.
Sentenced to simple imprisonment of 7 years and fine of Rs. 10,000 for
sec. 174A of IPC.
Sentenced to simple imprisonment of 3 years and fine of Rs. 50,000 for
sec. 27 of Arms Act.
Sentences shall run consecutively. The Court also imposed a fine of Rs. 11
lakh on the convict, out of which Rs. 10 lakhs are directed to be given to the
family of deceased Inspector MC Sharma.
While the prosecution pressed for death penalty against convict Ariz Khan
in the matter, the defense had sought for a lesser sentence on the grounds of
parity and his age.
According to the prosecution it was submitted that the "collective
conscience of society" was shocked due to the brutal manner in which
Inspector MC Sharma was killed while he was discharging his public
Additional Public Prosecutor AT Ansari represented the State whereas
Advocate MS Khan represented the convict, Ariz Khan.
The Court convicted Ariz Khan under the following IPC sec.