The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to entertain a PIL seeking to stop the release of the film Batla House, which is slated to hit theatres on Independence Day, as the petitioner had not seen the movie. "You (petitioner, his lawyers) have not seen the film. Out of trailer, nothing can be done. Then why should we hear you," a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
Taking note of the view expressed by the bench, the plea by a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh was withdrawn as not pressed at this stage. Ariz Khan, facing trial in the Batla House encounter case, and Shahzad Ahmed, who has appealed against his conviction and life sentence in the same matter, have sought postponing of the film's release on the ground that proceedings in their cases would be affected. Both Khan and Ahmad are also facing trial in the 2008 Delhi serial bomb blast case and have contended that the movie would affect proceedings in that matter also.
The single judge will continue to hear their plea on August 13.
The encounter took place on September 19, 2008, when a team of the Delhi Police Special Cell raided a flat in Batla House in south Delhi's Jamia Nagar on a tip-off that the alleged terrorists involved in the September 13, 2008 serial blasts in the national capital were holed up there. During the raid, a decorated police officer -- Inspector M C Sharma -- was killed
Operation Batla House, that took place on 19 September 2008 was a gun encounter between Delhi Police and Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi. As per media reports, following the five serial blasts in Delhi on 13 September 2008, a team of 7 Delhi Police personals led by inspector Mohan Chand Sharma raided the location in connection with the bomb blasts. Two suspected terrorists, Atif Ameen, and Mohammad Sajid were killed during the encounter while two other suspects, Mohammad Saif and Zeeshan, were taken into custody. One accused Ariz Khan managed to escape, however, he was later arrested from the Indo-China border.
The investigation following the encounter led to arrest of a number of local people, leading to widespread allegations and protests by political parties, civil society groups, activists, especially teachers and students of the Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Directed by Nikkhil Advani and produced by Bhushan Kumar, the film is scheduled to release theatrically on August 15, 2019.
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