The Central Information Commision has directed the Delhi [Images] Police to submit all documents pertaining to the Batla House
encounter before it by Thursday to decide whether the information can be disclosed to an RTI applicant or not.
A bench of the commission comprising Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi ordered a "representative of the DCP (Special Cell) present the documents, copies of which have been sought by appellant Prashant Bhushan, before this commission on March 5, 2009 for inspection by the bench".
The CIC said after inspection of the information it would give its decision on the matter of disclosing contents of the
documents to RTI applicant and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing one of the suspected terrorist Zia Ur Rehman, son of caretaker of the L-18 Batla House.
Rehman is claimed to have been arrested by Special Cell of Delhi Police after the encounter for alleged involvement in
serial blasts which rocked the capital in September last year.
In his application, Bhushan had demanded copies of the FIR registered by special cell officials with Jamia Nagar
police station regarding the encounter, post mortem report of Inspector M C Sharma, post-mortem reports of Atif Amin and Sajid, suspected terrorists killed in that encounter, from the Delhi Police.
The information was, however, declined by the police citing the ongoing probe as a reason.
The Delhi police refused to give details of the FIR filed in the encounter on October 31 claiming that Rehman was "neither the complainant nor accused in the case at this stage and as per provisions of CrPC, a copy of FIR could only be provided to the complainant or the accused only".
They also refused to share post-mortem reports of Inspector M C Sharma, and alleged terror suspects Atif Amin and Sajid claiming that investigations were pending in the case and "its disclosure to the appellant may impede the process of investigation".
On being questioned by the Commission whether the law debarred providing a copy of the FIR to a person other than the complainant or the accused, Additional Commissioner of Police, Satyendra Garg, representing Delhi Police said there was no such bar.
The Delhi Police also argued that Rehman was not in custody in relation to this case, a submission strongly refuted by Bhushan who said "it was not correct that his client Rehman is not in detention for a matter connected in any way to encounter in Batla House."