Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav pronounced the order on the sentencing of convict in Open Court.
By: Shannia Yesenia, LLB, Prima University.
Ariz Khan was sentenced to the death penalty by the Delhi Court regarding the Batla House encounter of 2008 where a police inspector and two other alleged terrorists were killed during the attack between the two parties. The court claims that it is a fit case falling in the “rarest of the rare” category deserving maximum sentence under the law.
“Convict on account of his despicable act has forfeited his right to live. After balancing mitigating circumstances against aggravating circumstances is concluded that it is the rarest of the rare case where convict deserves maximum sentence provided under the law. It is the level of magnitude, degree of brutality, attitude and mindset of wrongdoer behind the crime along with other factors which makes it a rarest of rare case. Protection of society and deterring criminal is an avowed object of law and this is required to be achieved by imprisonment appropriate sentence. The most appropriate sentence for convict like Ariz Khan will be death penalty. Interest of justice will be met if convict is awarded death penalty” held the court.
Further, the court observed that several deadly weapons were retrieved from the flat where the incident had taken place.
“It should not be forgotten that deadly weapons like AK-47 and two pistols were retrieved from the flat where the shootout took place. The defence has not able to clarify as to for which purpose these deadly weapons were kept by the convict and his accomplices in the flat. Considering the nature of devastation that these weapons can cause, it will be safe to conclude that these weapons were kept in the flat with a view to indulge terrorist and anti-social activities.”
The first question that has arisen before the court while deciding the quantum of sentence is as to whether there is any chance of reformation of convict. It has been proved on record that convict after the shootout managed to escape and run away from the spot. The convict eluded investigating agencies for almost ten years despite coercive process against him. Convict was declared proclaimed offender way back in the year 2009 and was arrested in 21018. There is no evidence on record that convict during investigation or trial showed any signs of reformation or repentance. Thus, the natural and inescapable conclusion is that there is no chance of reformation of convict.In addition to that, the court stated that the abhorrent and brutal act of convict in firing on police party without any provocation itself shows that convict is not only the threat to the society but is also an enemy of the state. Involvement of convict in various blast cases not only in Delhi but also in Jaipur. Ahmedabad and U.P. in which hundreds of innocent people were killed and injured further demonstrates that convict continues to be a threat to the society and the nation.