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Court Refuses to Direct Delhi Police to Provide Advocate Pracha Video Footage of Search at His Premises

Screengrab of the video where advocate Mehmood Pracha can be seen talking to Delhi police personnel

Screengrab of the video where advocate Mehmood Pracha can be seen talking to Delhi police personnel

Advocate Pracha,who is representing some of the accused in the northeast Delhi riots cases, had approached the sessions court against an order passed by a magisterial court.

A Delhi court has refused to direct the police to forthwith supply to advocate Mehmood Pracha a copy of the video footage of the search conducted at his premises last month. Advocate Pracha,who is representing some of the accused in the north-east Delhi riots cases, had approached the sessions court against an order passed by a magisterial court.

In the hearing held on Tuesday, Additional Sessions JudgeDharmender Rana, who dismissed Pracha's plea,observed that in its order, the magisterial court had neither denied nor conclusively determined his prayer for supply of video footage. Evidently, the prayer regarding the supply of video footage has not been disposed off by the Trial Court and the impugned order is purely an interlocutory in nature.

I concur with additional public prosecutor that the instant revision petition is legally not maintainable. In view of the above discussions, the present revision petition stands dismissed, the sessions judge said. In its order passed on December 27, the magisterial court had directed Delhi Police to preserve the video footage. Duty Magistrate Udhav Kumar Jain however, had not passed any order on whether to hand over a copy of the video to Pracha.

The judge had directed its staff to preserve the entire video footage of the search and place it before the court concerned for necessary orders. The judge had said that at this stage, only directions for preserving the video footage was deemed necessary and the concerned court can take a call on supplying the video footage to the applicant Pracha at an appropriate stage.

The court concerned is scheduled to hear the matter further on January 12. The video footage was submitted by the Investigating Officer in response to court's earlier order.

Pracha had earlier submitted that a search was conducted at his office from 12 noon on December 24 and till 03:00 AM on December 25 approximately and according to the law, the IO should have intimated forthwith the search and the seized articles to the Magistrate concerned. He submitted that, however, the same was not done and therefore, he filed an application in that regard.

He further submitted that the entire search was videographed as per the court order and that he was entitled to a copy of the video footage. Delhi police had alleged that Pracha forged documents and instigated a man to depose falsely in connection with a case related to the violence in north-east Delhi in February this year.

The advocate has been representing various accused and complainants in the violence in north-east Delhi. Several cases were registered over the northeast Delhi violence, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured.


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