HC declines to entertain PIL on Batla House film


New Delhi: 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.

“What is so obnoxious about the film? 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 asked.

Taking note of the view expressed by the bench, the plea by a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh was withdrawn as not pressed at this stage.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 already moved the high court to postpone 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.

Their plea is being heard by a single judge who will continue to hear it on August 13.

When the lawyers for the PIL petitioner, Aamir Rashadi Madani, sought liberty to move the single judge with their plea, the bench declined to grant any such relief.

“If you want to withdraw, you can. But we will not grant you any liberty whatsoever,” the court said.

The PIL had alleged that the film raises a question mark on Khan, who hails from Azamgarh, and Ahmed, as well as others living in that area.

It had also claimed that the film was not based on real and correct facts which have been allegedly “distorted and twisted” to gain “cheap publicity”.

It had also alleged that the film would hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.

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. (PTI)