Delhi: In yet another move sure to raise controversy, Delhi Police's Special Cell on Tuesday searched the office of advocate Mehmood Pracha again. His office was searched earlier in December and many of his documents and computer data devices were seized then.
Following Tuesday's raids, Pracha moved a local court against the search warrants. He said the Delhi Police's demand to take away the hard disks of his computers were "completely illegal and unjustified". The advocate said the documents that the authorities demanded were "already in their possession from the previous exercise".
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma directed that the investigating officer and the deputy commissioner of police of the special cell be present in court on Wednesday at 10.30 am.
Pracha has been arguing cases on behalf of many accused in the communal violence that broke out in Delhi in February 2020.
The office raid was made when he and his associates were not in the office. "Our office was locked and they [the police] knew that I would not be there because I would be undertaking a cross-examination of a Special Cell case only, in which the senior investigating officer is the same," Scroll.in quoted him as saying.
Pracha said that the raiding team deliberately chose a date when he was sure to be away from the office.
An associate from Pracha's office, who did not wish to be identified, told news portal Scroll.in that more than 100 policemen were at the office. He added that the search began at 12.30 pm and continued for several hours.
"They want the laptops and computers, they are saying they need some meta data of the emails when we are saying we have sent the emails from our email ID, so there is no doubt about it," the associate said. "They are saying they have to take all the computers for this."