New Delhi: "It hardly matters as to whether accused Shahzad Ahmad was affiliated to Indian Mujahideen or not," a Delhi court on Thursday observed while convicting him in the 2008 Batla House encounter case.
"True, there is no evidence on record to establish that fact. At the same time, this court cannot be expected to endeavour in giving any finding about said fact.
"For the purpose of decision of this case it hardly matters as to whether accused (Shahzad) was affiliated to Indian Mujahideen or not," additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said.
The court`s observation came while dealing with the submissions of defence counsel Satish Tamta that as per the prosecution, the flat occupants, including Shahzad, were active members of Indian Mujahideen but "this fact has not been proved on file".
The court also rejected the argument of defence counsel that the plea of firing in self defence was available only with the flat occupants and not with the police personnel who were merely witnesses.
"I am not in consonance with the defence counsel in this regard. I am unable to find out any provision if the plea of self defence is restricted to persons, who are made to face trial. It depends upon the facts of each case.
"As per case of prosecution, on the basis of a secret information, police party entered inside flat no. 108 to apprehend some suspects of Delhi blasts. The occupants of that flat started firing on the police party.
"The members of police party fired in self defence. There is no surprise that in such facts the police officers, who fired on the occupants of said flat, are not arraigned as accused. Apparently they were acting in self defence," the judge said.