Trial Court Delhi Court reserves order on PIL filed by Mehmood...

Delhi Court reserves order on PIL filed by Mehmood Pracha against Delhi Police’s raids on his office


New Delhi, Mar 19 (ILNS) A Delhi Court today reserved its order on the application filed by Advocate Mehmood Pracha, challenging the raids and seizure of data done by the Delhi police from his office.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dr Pankaj Sharma reserved the order on the application, after Pracha failed to appear before the court and a proxy counsel appearing on his behalf sought an adjournment.

Pracha had moved the application against the second raid conducted by the Special Cell in his office on March 9, calling the whole exercise as “completely illegal and unjustified”. He alleged that the second raid was conducted in his absence, wherein more than 100 police persons searched his office, while he was appearing before the Court of ASJ Dharmender Rana. It has been contended that the Police, while searching his official premises on December 24 and 25, 2020, have already collected all the documents and seized them in a pen drive.

According to Pracha, the whole exercise was conducted with the “sole objective of illegally stealing the entire data” of the sensitive cases he has been dealing with, in which the Special Cell itself is the investigating agency. Earlier, the Delhi Police Special Cell in December, 2020 had raided the premises of Pracha in a case related to the alleged use of forged documents as genuine in judicial records in a northeast Delhi riots case.

As the matter came up for hearing, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the Delhi Police, said, “With regards to the query of the court, we raised the issue with FSL and the same is placed on record.” The court had, on the last date, asked the Delhi Police as to how it proposes to obtain the requisite data from Pracha’s electronic devices without harming the data of his other clients.

“Today, there is an accused who is a lawyer, tomorrow there will be politician or doctor. Are we not prejudging the situation by questioning the probe agency?,” the Special Public Prosecutor asked. The SPP further contended that the protection under Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act(on attorney-client privilege) cannot extend to Section 93 of CrPC (dealing with search warrants). Such a classification is not within the permit of law and is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, added Mr Prasad.

Responding to the argument of Pracha that the police is acting on the whims and fancies of its “political masters” and the agency wanted to shoot him, the SPP responded, “He argued, they want to kill me. Whether even a single bullet was fired? What kind of arguments are these? He does not come there, he said I am in court, I will not come there.” ILNS/SNG/RJ


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