In a significant move Thursday, the Delhi High Court favoured an independent inquiry by a rights body into the controversial Batla House shootout here in September last year.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been insisting on an independent probe into the shootout in which two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists and a police officer were killed Sep 19, 2008.
"Time is passing and it (independent investigation in the case) would make no sense. You (NHRC) have every right to do it. I don't see any obstacle in it," Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah told the commission.
The bench headed by Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul asked the NHRC counsel to take instruction from the commission chairman on the issue and inform it May 20 when the court hears the matter further.
The court's suggestion came after the Delhi government has been expressing reluctance to hold a magisterial inquiry into the matter, which NHRC has contended to be mandatory before initiating its own inquiry.
Rights activists have raised questions about the authenticity of the gunfight, which erupted a week after serial blasts rocked the capital and left 26 people dead last year.
An NGO, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), has been demanding a judicial probe into the shootout.