The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked petitioner advocate Prashant Bhushan why had he delayed filing an appeal for the copy of the post-mortem examination report of the three people killed in the Batla House shootout in September 2008.
A division bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Veena Birbal asked Bhushan to explain the delay of several months in filing the appeal and why did he not approach the court earlier.
The court asked the petitioner to file his reply by April 28.
Bhushan’s petition came up as he had challenged the earlier order of a single-judge bench of the high court. In a partial relief to him on his original petition, the single-judge bench allowed that a copy of the first information report (FIR) on the Batla House shootout be given to him.
Bhushan had earlier moved the Central Information Commission (CIC)under the Right to Information Act, and the CIC had ordered that a copy of the FIR should be given to him.
The court, upholding the CIC order, then also said that all information, including a copy of the post-mortem examination report, should be given to the petitioner.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna had then said: “Police have not been able to give any specific reason how and why disclosure of the FIR, even when the name of the informant is erased, would impede the process of investigation.”
The court order came on a police petition, which contested the CIC directive to disclose the contents of the FIR and the post-mortem examination reports of the two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists and police Inspector M.C. Sharma, killed in the shootout.
Withholding the copy of the post-mortem examination report, the court agreed with police’s contention that making it public would hamper the ongoing investigation in the Sep 13, 2008, serial blasts in the national capital. The present petition challenges that view of the court.