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Adv Mehmood Pracha’s Office raid: Court summons IO for video footage

Mehmood Pracha moved the Patiala House Court for preservation of the video footage taken during the raid and for continuous monitoring

Sabrangindia 28 Dec 2020

 Advocate Mehmood Pracha’s office was raide

In a collapse of rule of law, Advocate Mehmood Pracha’s office was raided by the Delhi Police on December 24. After condemning this intrusion, Pracha moved the Patiala House court in Delhi on December 25, seeking preservation of the video footage recorded during the raids and continuous monitoring of the case.

The Metropolitan Magistrate, Anshul Singhal directed the Investigating Officer (IO) to file a reply to Mehmood Pracha’s application of preservation of the footage by December 27 and was also asked to remain present in court during the upcoming hearing. Further, the IO was asked to file a status report and place it before the court on January 5, next year.   

Mehmood Pracha stated in his application that the entire search was video recorded by the Police and that “he is entitled to a copy of video footage” as well. The Advocate also stated that the search was conducted at his office from noon (12pm) which continued till 3am in the morning on December 25.

He submitted before the Patiala Court that under Section 165(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that provides that in the event of a search by a police officer, copies of any record made shall forthwith be sent to the nearest Magistrate and the owner or occupier of the place searched shall, on application, be furnished with a copy of the same by the Magistrate, the process had not been followed. Hence the application.

In another shocking revelation, the Advocate has also stated in his application that one Mr. Rajiv and the Investigating Officer had threatened to make a frivolous case against him, hence he moved the court under section 156(3) of the CrPC requesting for continuous monitoring of the case.

 

 

According to media reports, the search warrant against Pracha, issued by a local Delhi court, on December 22, against FIR 212/2020 read: “It has been made to appear to me that incriminating documents comprising false complaint and meta-data of outbox of email account which was used to send incriminating documents are essential to the investigation of FIR No. 212/20 of Police station special cell, New Delhi… This is to authorize and require the investigating officer of this case to search for the said incriminating documents and meta-data of outbox of email ID, wherever they may be found whether in computer or in the office/premises of Shri Mehmood Pracha.” 

Noted Public Interest Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan condemned the search conducted by the Delhi Police special cell in Pracha’s office on Twitter stating, “First they came for activists; then they came for students; then they came for farmers; now they are coming for their lawyers; Next, they will come for you. Will you call this a Democracy?”

 

 

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising remarked that this was a direct attack on the fundamental right to legal representation, in light of the Delhi Riots alleged accused who are being represented by Mehmood, and appealed all lawyers to condemn this shameful display of State excesses.   

Rahul Mehra, the standing counsel of the Delhi Government, condemned the raid and said, “I may have professional differences with Mr. Mahmood Pracha and may agree to disagree with him most of the time but for an office of a lawyer to be raided like this is highly condemnable. Expecting good sense to prevail sooner rather than later”.

 

 

Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy too, took to Twitter stating that the seizure of his computer for emails could disclose information that is protected by Attorney Client privilege, striking at the heart of rule of law.

Mr. Pracha has served as a defence counsel for several accused in the Delhi Riots case of February 2020, including student activist Gulfisha Khatoon.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Delhi riots: Activist Gulfisha Fatima gets bail, but will remain in jail under UAPA

Delhi Court dismisses plea of Gulfisha Fatima and 2 others booked under UAPA seeking statutory bail

Adv Mehmood Pracha’s Office raid: Court summons IO for video footage

Mehmood Pracha moved the Patiala House Court for preservation of the video footage taken during the raid and for continuous monitoring

 Advocate Mehmood Pracha’s office was raide

In a collapse of rule of law, Advocate Mehmood Pracha’s office was raided by the Delhi Police on December 24. After condemning this intrusion, Pracha moved the Patiala House court in Delhi on December 25, seeking preservation of the video footage recorded during the raids and continuous monitoring of the case.

The Metropolitan Magistrate, Anshul Singhal directed the Investigating Officer (IO) to file a reply to Mehmood Pracha’s application of preservation of the footage by December 27 and was also asked to remain present in court during the upcoming hearing. Further, the IO was asked to file a status report and place it before the court on January 5, next year.   

Mehmood Pracha stated in his application that the entire search was video recorded by the Police and that “he is entitled to a copy of video footage” as well. The Advocate also stated that the search was conducted at his office from noon (12pm) which continued till 3am in the morning on December 25.

He submitted before the Patiala Court that under Section 165(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that provides that in the event of a search by a police officer, copies of any record made shall forthwith be sent to the nearest Magistrate and the owner or occupier of the place searched shall, on application, be furnished with a copy of the same by the Magistrate, the process had not been followed. Hence the application.

In another shocking revelation, the Advocate has also stated in his application that one Mr. Rajiv and the Investigating Officer had threatened to make a frivolous case against him, hence he moved the court under section 156(3) of the CrPC requesting for continuous monitoring of the case.

 

 

According to media reports, the search warrant against Pracha, issued by a local Delhi court, on December 22, against FIR 212/2020 read: “It has been made to appear to me that incriminating documents comprising false complaint and meta-data of outbox of email account which was used to send incriminating documents are essential to the investigation of FIR No. 212/20 of Police station special cell, New Delhi… This is to authorize and require the investigating officer of this case to search for the said incriminating documents and meta-data of outbox of email ID, wherever they may be found whether in computer or in the office/premises of Shri Mehmood Pracha.” 

Noted Public Interest Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan condemned the search conducted by the Delhi Police special cell in Pracha’s office on Twitter stating, “First they came for activists; then they came for students; then they came for farmers; now they are coming for their lawyers; Next, they will come for you. Will you call this a Democracy?”

 

 

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising remarked that this was a direct attack on the fundamental right to legal representation, in light of the Delhi Riots alleged accused who are being represented by Mehmood, and appealed all lawyers to condemn this shameful display of State excesses.   

Rahul Mehra, the standing counsel of the Delhi Government, condemned the raid and said, “I may have professional differences with Mr. Mahmood Pracha and may agree to disagree with him most of the time but for an office of a lawyer to be raided like this is highly condemnable. Expecting good sense to prevail sooner rather than later”.

 

 

Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy too, took to Twitter stating that the seizure of his computer for emails could disclose information that is protected by Attorney Client privilege, striking at the heart of rule of law.

Mr. Pracha has served as a defence counsel for several accused in the Delhi Riots case of February 2020, including student activist Gulfisha Khatoon.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Delhi riots: Activist Gulfisha Fatima gets bail, but will remain in jail under UAPA

Delhi Court dismisses plea of Gulfisha Fatima and 2 others booked under UAPA seeking statutory bail

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