The quantum of sentence to be imposed on Shahzad Ahmad,who has been convicted in the Batla House encounter case,is set to be announced on Tuesday.
While the the defence and the prosecution argued over the sentence on Monday,the latter demanded death for Shahzad,claiming that there was no possibility of reform of this accused.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri had on July 25 convicted Shahzad for obstructing public servants in the discharge of their duty,assaulting and causing hurt to public servants,attempt with common intention to kill two police officers and common intent to cause death of Special Cell Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. Shahzad has also been held guilty of causing disappearance of evidence,and under various provisions of the Arms Act.
Shahzad is the only one to face trial in the Batla House encounter that took place on September 19,2008. A team of Delhi Police Special Cell officers had stormed the flat in the Batla House neighbourhood,Jamia Nagar,after receiving a tip-off that suspected Indian Mujahideen members involved in a series of blasts in Delhi six days prior were hiding there.
Citing Supreme Court judgments on death penalty,additional public prosecutor Satwinder Kaur told the judge that the crime committed by Shahzad had shocked the consciousness of society as he had fired at and killed a police officer.
The police team had identified itself as being police officers,and the occupants of the house started firing at them. They acted without provocation and cannot claim any mitigating circumstances, Satwinder Kaur said.
The prosecutor also told the court that Shahzad had been named as an accused in the Delhi serial blasts cases,and was involved in other even more heinous crimes. The prosecutor argued that he would be a menace to society if he were to be shown leniency.
Defence lawyer Satish Tamta argued that arguments in the serial blasts cases were being heard and merely being named an accused did not imply guilt.
Tamta argued that the judge,in his order convicting Shahzad,had noted that there was no evidence to prove that Shahzad was a member of the Indian Mujahideen. The serial blasts cases say that Shahzad was a member of the IM. That has not been proven and therefore the accusation in those cases should not be held against him here, Tamta said.
The defence lawyer also argued that Shahzad,who is 1988 born,was only 20 years old at the time of the incident,and should therefore be shown leniency.