Court To Give Verdict On Batla House Convict’s Death Penalty Appeal Today

Ariz Khan was arrested on February 14, 2018. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court will deliver its verdict on Thursday on confirmation of the death penalty awarded to Ariz Khan following his conviction in the sensational 2008 Batla House encounter case, in which decorated Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma lost his life.

The order will be pronounced by a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Amit Sharma.

The court will also rule on Khan’s appeal against the trial court verdict that said his offence fell under the “rarest of the rare category”, warranting the maximum sentence and that he be “hanged by the neck” till death.

The bench had reserved its order on the issue in August after the lawyers for the convict and the State concluded their submissions.

Mohan Chand Sharma of the Delhi Police’s Special Cell was killed in the encounter between police and terrorists in south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on September 19, 2008. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter that took place days after five synchronised bomb explosions rocked the national capital, killing 39 people and wounding 159.

Sharma had raided the place while looking for the terrorists responsible for the blasts.

The trial court convicted Khan on March 8, 2021, saying it was duly proved that he and his associates killed the police official and fired gunshots at him.

On March 15, 2021, it sentenced Khan to capital punishment and also imposed a fine of Rs 11 lakh on him, making it clear that Rs 10 lakh should immediately be released to the family members of Sharma.

Subsequently, the high court received a reference for confirmation of Khan’s death sentence.

When a trial court sentences any person to death, its judgement is examined by the high court through hearing arguments for a confirmation of the sentence.

In its judgment, the trial court had described Khan’s act of firing on a police party without any provocation as “abhorrent and brutal”, and said this itself showed that he was not only a threat to the society, but also an enemy of the State.

The trial court, which had said the convict, on account of his despicable act, has forfeited his right to live, held that the offence proved against Khan was not an ordinary act but a crime against the State, and while committing it, he acted like a “dreaded and well-trained terrorist” who does not deserve any leniency.

Khan had fled the spot of the offence and was declared a proclaimed offender. He was arrested on February 14, 2018.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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