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Delhi court reserves order on Mehmood Pracha plea challenging Delhi Police raids on his office

While searching Pracha's office premises on December 24 and 25 last year, the Delhi police had collected all the documents from Pracha's office and seized them in a pen drive.

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A Delhi Court on Friday 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.

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 questing the probe agency?” the Special Public Prosecutor questioned.

He further contended that the protection under Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act (on attorney-client privilege) can not extend to Section 93 of CrPC(which deals with search warrants).

He went on to say that such a classification is not within the permit of law and is in violation of Article14 of the Indian Constitution.

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, Prasad 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.”

Prasad also urged the court to vacate the stay on the search warrants issued against Pracha. The court earlier stayed the search warrants issued against advocate Mehmood Pracha in connection with a case relating to the North east Delhi riots.

Pracha had moved the application against the second raid conducted by the Special Cell in his office on March 9, thereby calling the whole exercise as completely illegal and unjustified.

According to Pracha’s plea, it has been 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 Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana.

It has been contended that the Police, while searching Pracha’s office premises on December 24 and 25 last year, 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 alleged use of forged documents as genuine in judicial records in a northeast Delhi riots case.

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