Brought to court amid heavy security,Batla House encounter case convict Shahzad Ahmad was sentenced to life imprisonment by a city court on Tuesday. Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri denied the prosecution plea to award death penalty to Shahzad,noting that he was a young boy who had not been found guilty in any other case.
Ruminating on the facts of the case and also the circumstances of the convict,I find mitigating circumstances more than aggravating ones and hence the case in hand is not a rarest of the rare case,which warrants death penalty upon the convict,
ASJ Shastri said. The court has also noted that there was a possibility of reform of the suspected IM operative.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 90,000 on Shahzad,for the offences of murder,attempt to murder,obstructing a public officer in discharge of his duty,causing grievous hurt to a public officer,destruction of evidence,and offences under the Arms Act.
A sum of Rs 40,000 from the fine amount will be given to slain Special Cell Inspector Mohan Chand Sharmas family as compensation and Rs 20,000 as compensation to then Special Cell Head Constable Balwant,who had received bullet injuries.
While awaiting the order,Shahzad was heard discussing the process of filing an appeal with his lawyer. Advocate S Qamar,who had earlier expressed disappointment over Shahzads conviction,requested the court for certified copies of the judgment and order on sentence to enable the defence to begin preparing for the appeal.
The judge further noted,There can be no deeper wound on rule of law than to attack a police officer,while discharging his official duty. The convict has been held guilty of obstructing police officers… this is an aggravating circumstance against the accused.
He also praised the police,stating that police is an integral part of our life. While in any peril,we rely upon the police. When we sleep,police awakes.
On July 25,Shahzad was convicted for his role in the September 19,2008 encounter,wherein a team of Delhi Police Special Cell officers had raided the Batla House flat in Jamia Nagar following a tip-off that terrorists allegedly involved in Delhi 2008 serial blasts six days prior were holed up there.
Inspector M C Sharma and two suspected members of Indian Mujahideen had been killed. Shahzad. who had escaped from the flat while firing at the police party,was arrested in February 2010. He is also one of the men accused in the Delhi serial blasts cases.