Delhi court stays search warrants against Advocate Mehmood Pracha in riots case

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On Wednesday, a Delhi Court passed an interim order staying the operation of search warrants against Supreme Court Advocate Mehmood Pracha in connection with alleged use of forged documents in judicial records in a Northeast Delhi riots case.

A team of counter intelligence of the Special Cell had on Tuesday gone to conduct searches at the Nizamuddin East office of the lawyer, but returned after they found the office locked.

Following this, Pracha moved an application before a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate saying that the police have already collected documents and accessed all computers installed in his office during the raids conducted in December 2020.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at the Patiala House Court Pankaj Sharma will pronounce orders in Pracha’s application on March 12.

In the hearing today, Pracha argued that “fraud in the system has to be stopped.

In his plea, he had claimed that the case against him is “completely baseless” and has been instituted with the sole objective of “hounding” him at the behest of and as “a part of conspiracy involving senior politicians, bureaucrats and even judicial officers”.

Pracha in the application said that he volunteers to furnish any specific documents sought by the investigation agency and also re-furnish whatever was taken during the previous exercise. While seeking modification of a court order passed on March 2 regarding seizure of a computer, he sought a direction that he may be required to produce the computer before the court itself, adding that the police can then extract the documents concerned from it in presence of the court.

The court then issued a notice to the police in the application for Wednesday morning.

Pracha’s firm Legal Axis is defending several persons accused in cases related to the Northeast Delhi riots.

Meanwhile, the same counter intelligence team along with technical experts had searched the office in December 2020 as well. The raids had been condemned by members of the legal fraternity, who called it a breach of attorney-client privilege.

Mehmood Pracha represents at least three accused in the “larger conspiracy case” in the Delhi riots and many other accused in riot cases registered by police. He has called the searches an “attack on due process, legal profession and the Constitution of India.”

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