'Keep video footage of lawyers' search premises'

Court directs preserving video footage of search at premises of advocate representing NE Delhi riot accused

A court here on Sunday directed police to preserve the video footage of the search conducted at the premises of advocate Mehmood Pracha, a lawyer representing some of the accused in northeast Delhi riot cases.

Duty Magistrate Udhav Kumar Jain, however, did not pass any order on whether to hand over a copy of the video to Pracha.

The court directed its staff to preserve the entire video footage of the search with its seal and place it before the court concerned for necessary orders.

The judge said that at this stage, only directions for preserving the video footage are "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 has listed the matter for January 5 before the court concerned.

The video footage was submitted by the investigating officer (IO) in response to an earlier court order.

The court is hearing an application by Pracha in which he has said that he was threatened by the IO that a false case will be registered against him.

Pracha had submitted that a search was conducted at his office from December 24 noon till around 3 am on December 25, and according to 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.

The advocate further submitted that the entire search was videographed as per a court order and that he was entitled to a copy of the video footage.

The Delhi Police had alleged that lawyer Pracha forged documents and instigated a man to depose falsely in connection with a case related to the violence in northeast Delhi in February this year.

Pracha has been representing various accused and complainants in cases related to the violence.

Various cases were registered over the northeast Delhi riots, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured.