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Advocate Mehmood Pracha Moves Additional Sessions Court Challenging CMM's Order Rejecting His Plea Against His Office Raids

Nupur Thapliyal
26 March 2021 11:05 AM GMT
Advocate Mehmood Pracha Moves Additional Sessions Court Challenging CMMs Order Rejecting His Plea Against His Office Raids
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Hours after CMM Pankaj Sharma passed an order rejecting Advocate Mehmood Pracha's application challenging Delhi Police Special Cell's raids in his office, he has approached the Additional Sessions Court against the order.The matter will be heard tomorrow by Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana at 10 AM.Advocate Mehmood Pracha in the presence of Advocate RK Wadhwa, President of the New...

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Hours after CMM Pankaj Sharma passed an order rejecting Advocate Mehmood Pracha's application challenging Delhi Police Special Cell's raids in his office, he has approached the Additional Sessions Court against the order.

The matter will be heard tomorrow by Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana at 10 AM.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha in the presence of Advocate RK Wadhwa, President of the New Delhi Bar Association, requested the Court to provide protection or stay the order till tomorrow. However, the Court refused to pass any such direction in view of the absence of the learned Special Public Prosecutor today.

"I find no reason to disgaree with you but I need to hear them. However, I am not going to pass order in absentia. Put up for consideration at 10 AM tomorrow." The judge said.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Pracha along with RK Wadhwa submitted before the Court that a Local Commissioner may be appointed in the matter who would thereafter seal the computer source and relevant data may be extracted in the presence of a Magistrate thereafter.

"Appoint some local commissioner, I can give the computer. Let him seal it. I will be in a beneficial situation. " Pracha submitted.

"Please appoint a local commissioner. We can show him the computer. It can be sealed and stamp will be put. Then it can be opened before the Court. Then particular data can be extracted in the presence of the Magistrate. The bar is there. We want only one thing that what the police did in this case, shouldn't happen again. What else do we have apart from clients records. We cannot divulge with that protection. " RK Wadhwa submitted.

The development came after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma today ordered :

"The plea of the applicant about his offer of target data in Pen drive can only be considered by the IO subject to the issue of admissibility and Court's intervention is not proper and also accused cannot dictate the IO about the mode and manner for collection of evidence in an investigation. Accordingly, in the considered view of this Court, the objections raised by applicant are baseless. Let the search warrant be executed in accordance with law subject to the safeguards as per the expert opinion." 

Observing that the collection of evidence is intrinsic to the investigation and hands of the investigators cannot be tied to prevent them from Collecting Evidence, the Court held that:

"The collection of data from its source is done to ensure its admissibility during trial and it is imperative for IO to collect best form of evidence during investigation as per their own discretion." 

On the issue of reliance under sec. 126 of the Indian Evidence Act (attorney client privilege) and Bar Council Conduct Rules, the Court observed that such a reliance was misplaced as same envisages voluntary sharing of data /communication by the Advocate or deposing against the client. 

"However, the situation is different in this matter as the data is to be collected by the police on account of investigation in a criminal case. The plea for non-sharing of data of other clients of the applicant is beyond the scope of sec. 126 of Indian Evidence Act." The court observed.

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