Batla House Encounter: The Delhi High Court on Thursday commuted the death sentence of Ariz Khan, convicted in the 2008 Batla House encounter case, to life imprisonment. Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed during the Batla House encounter. A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Amit Sharma upheld a trial court order convicting Ariz Khan of murdering the police officer but refused to uphold the death penalty. A detailed copy of the court order is awaited.
39 people died in the explosions
In the month of August, the lawyers for the convict and the state had concluded their arguments, after which the bench reserved its decision on this issue. Delhi Police Special Unit officer Mohan Chand Sharma was killed in an encounter between police and terrorists in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi on September 19, 2008. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter that took place days after five serial bomb blasts in the national capital. 39 people were killed and 159 people were injured in the blasts.
Raid was conducted in search of terrorists
Mohan Chand Sharma had raided this area in search of terrorists responsible for the blasts. The trial court had convicted Ariz Khan on March 8, 2021, and said that it was duly proved that he and his associates murdered the police officer. He said that Ariz Khan’s crime falls in the category of ‘rarest of the rarest’ and deserves the maximum punishment which is ‘hanging till death’.
Ariz Khan sentenced to death in 2021
He sentenced Ariz Khan to death on March 15, 2021 and also imposed a fine of Rs 11 lakh on him. The court made it clear that Rs 10 lakh should be immediately given to Sharma’s family members. After this, the case of death sentence awarded to Khan was sent to the High Court for confirmation. When a lower court sentences a person to death, the High Court studies the verdict and has to confirm the sentence before hanging the criminal.