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Delhi court directs police to preserve video footage of raid on Mehmood Pracha’s office

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A Delhi court on Sunday directed the Delhi Police to preserve the entire video footage of the search conducted at lawyer Mehmood Pracha’s house in connection with a case related to the riots in North-East Delhi.

Duty magistrate Udhav Kumar Jain did not pass any order on handing over the copy of the video to Pracha but passed directions to preserve the footage with its seal and place it before the court concerned for necessary orders.

The Court stated that directions for preserving the video footage are only necessary and the concerned court can decide on supplying the video footage to Mehmood Pracha at the correct stage.

The court was hearing an application by Pracha claiming he was threatened by the investigating officer while the search was underway at his office.

Pracha had informed the court that his office was searched on December 24. He had further pointed out that in keeping with the provisions of Section 165 of the CrPC, the agency should have intimated the concerned magistrate about the search and the seized articles immediately. He also said he was entitled to a copy of the footage.

On Sunday, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police urged a trial judge to inspect the office premises of advocate Mehmood Pracha, who, they alleged, prevented the investigators from confiscating “primary evidence” against the lawyer in connection with a Delhi riots-related forgery case.

The police moved its application under Section 310 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which allows a judge to inspect any place in which an offence is alleged to be have been committed for appreciating the evidences.

The Court accepted the contentions of the Special Cell and refused to supply the copy of the video footage at this stage. He said the concerned chief metropolitan magistrate will take a call on the supply of footage when the matter is taken up next on January 5.

The Special Cell had searched his office to investigate an FIR, registered in August, which alleged false evidence and forged notary stamps were used to secure bail of an accused arrested in a riots case. Police alleged the complaint letter used to get bail in the case was sent from Pracha’s office computer.

Also Read: Plea in Supreme Court seeks doubling number of judges in High Courts, other courts to end cases’ backlog in three years

Advocate Pracha has been representing various accused and complainants in connection with the violence in north-east Delhi in which at least 53 people were killed and several were injured.

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