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Batla case: Police gets clean chit

Source: PTI
August 26, 2009 18:26 IST
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In a big relief to the Police, the Delhi High Court today refused to direct a judicial probe into the controversial Batla House encounter here, in which two suspected terrorists and a police officer were killed, by accepting the NHRC report giving a clean chit to the cops.

The High Court rejected the contention of an NGO that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has failed to conduct a proper investigation in reaching to the conclusion that it was not a fake encounter.

"It's (NHRC) a statutory body and if that body has come to the conclusion that it is not a fake encounter, then the court should not interfere in it","the Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Manmohan said.

Holding that NHRC's findings cannot be overruled, the Bench said the human rights body's "prestige and independence has to be preserved at any cost."

The Bench made the observations when advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO 'ANHAD', questioned the findings of the Commission on the ground that it had accepted the police version and did not conduct an independent investigation.

While expressing dissatisfaction over the handling of the probe, Bhushan said the previous government at the Centre had one time decided to conduct a judicial inquiry into the incident and even approached former Chief Justice of India S P Bharucha in this regard but it was scuttled due to political consideration, a contention not refuted by the Centre.

He said the notification in this regard was not issued and the idea of judicial probe was dropped.

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