Batla House Encounter Case: Court Drops Charges Against Flat Caretaker

A view of flat no. 108 at Batla House in New Delhi. — File photo

NEW DELHI (IANS) — A court here on Tuesday dropped charges relating to cheating against the caretaker of the L-18 Batla House flat where two suspected militants were killed in a shootout with the police in 2008.

Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi discharged Abdul Rehman who is the caretaker of the building where tenants alleged to be engaged in terrorist activities were harbouring.

Rehman, a stenographer in Ghaziabad, was accused by the flat owner, Mohsin Nissar, of forging his signature in the lease deed while giving away the flat to the two suspected terrorists on rent.

The court dropped cheating charges against Rehman observing that “prosecution prima facie failed to show on record that the rent agreement was forged by Rehman”.

Defence Counsel M.S. Khan said police have failed to produce the original lease deed, the crucial piece of evidence, which was allegedly forged by Rehman.

The court observed that the original rent agreement was never brought on record.

“The order for framing of charge against Rehman for offence under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code is not sustainable in the eyes of law,” the court said.

The court order came on a revision plea filed by Rehman challenging the magisterial court order.

The court set aside the magisterial court order dated November 8, 2016 where it had framed charges of cheating against Rehman.

“There is no material on record to suggest that it was Rehman who fraudulently and dishonestly induced the complainant to hand over the premises to him,” the sessions judge said.

Nissar, in his complaint, alleged that, in July 2008, he handed the key of his flat L-18 Batla House to Rehman so that he could locate some tenants.

After a month, Rehman told him that he had found some students of Jamia Millia Islamia for renting out the flat.

Later, he came to knew that a rent agreement was made, purportedly between him and Mohammad Atif, which contained his forged signature, Nissar told the police.

Rehman was arrested on September 21, 2008 and was later released on bail in November 2008.

According to the police, Rehman had let out the flat to the suspected terrorists who carried out synchronised serial blasts in the capital on September 13, 2008 in which at least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured.

The Batla House shootout took place on September 19, 2008, a week after the serial blasts.

Of the five who were residing in the flat, Atif Ameen and Mohd. Sajid were killed during the shootout, Ariz Khan alias Junaid had been declared a proclaimed offender, while Mohd. Saif was not made an accused in this case as, according to the prosecution, he had surrendered peacefully and had not played any part in the entire incident.


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