10 March 2021 8:13 AM GMT
A Delhi Court on Wednesday stayed the operation of the search warrant issued by Delhi Police's Special Cell against Advocate Mehmood Pracha till the pendency of his application. The matter will be heard next on 12th March 2021.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma stayed the operation of search warrant after hearing Advocate Mehmood Pracha and Special Public Prosecutor Amit...
A Delhi Court on Wednesday stayed the operation of the search warrant issued by Delhi Police's Special Cell against Advocate Mehmood Pracha till the pendency of his application. The matter will be heard next on 12th March 2021.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma stayed the operation of search warrant after hearing Advocate Mehmood Pracha and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad.
While Advocate Pracha vehemently opposed the second raid conducted by the Delhi Police Special Cell, Pracha submitted before the Court that the Special Cell wanted to create "an encounter like situation" to kill him endangering life of his clients as well.
"It is my fundamental and constitutional right to protect the interest of my clients. To save their integrity. They have deliberately put my and my clients life under threat. This is also sensitive data. They want to act under their political masters. I cannot give such data. If you want to hang me, do it. But I cannot sacrifice my attorney privilege communication." Pracha submitted.
Submitting that he was willing to provide the data to the concerned authorities under sec. 65B certificate under the Indian Evidence Act, however he denied doing so in any other situation.
At the outset, the judge asked SPP Amit Prasad about a possible solution in this matter. To this, SPP proposed to give a second mirror copy of the original data in question which Advocate Mehmood Pracha would be free to delete the relevant portions concerning his clients.
Denying the said proposal, Advocate Pracha submitted that it is very easy for the Special Cell to retrieve the data later on and that this will not be a feasible option in this case.
"The data is very much retreivable. I am not giving mirror copy and hard copy. How hard it is to retrieve data from mirror copy? They know it and I know it. Special cell is expert to hack data. I am giving them the emails. But they want that data. They can have data which will be videographed. But what is their interest to have the hard copy only?" Pracha submitted.
"I am offering my neck to save my clients life. I am willing to face Gallows for protecting my clients life. I am ready to be the lamb. Tell your political masters to hang me. But I will not let them harm my life. Come what may." Advocate Mehmood Pracha submitted before the Court.
To this, the Court ordered "Till the pendency of this application, the search warrants issued against the applicant is stayed."
Background of the Case
Advocate Mehmood Pracha yesterday moved an urgent application against the second raid conducted by the Delhi Police's Special Cell on 9th March 2021, after calling the whole exercise as "completely illegal and unjustified". Pracha has been representing many accused persons in the Delhi Riots conspiracy cases that broke out in February last year.
Advocate Pracha had prayed from the Court to direct the IO or any senior official to produce the computer they are seeking and thereafter he shall himself bring the same before the Court in order to be extracted by the IO or senior officer.
While alleging that the sole objective of conducting the second raid was to illegally steal the entire data" of the sensitive cases he has been dealing with, Pracha in his application contended that he is going to the extent of risking self-implication even in derogation of his Fundamental Right only for the sake of protecting the data and information pertaining to his clients and briefs which he is duty bound to protect as an advocate.
According to Advocate Mehmood Pracha, 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 ASJ Dharmender Rana.