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Can’t dictate how to collect evidence, court says; junks Pracha plea

The court said the search warrant can be executed per law subject to the safeguards as per expert opinion.

Published: 27th March 2021 09:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2021 09:40 AM   |  A+A-

Lawyer Mehmood Pracha

Lawyer Mehmood Pracha. (Photo | Mehmood Pracha/ Facebook)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A court or an accused cannot dictate the mode and manner for collection of evidence in an investigation, observed a Delhi court on Thursday while rejecting an application filed by advocate Mehmood Pracha seeking directions to protect lawyer-client privilege in light of the Delhi Police raids conducted at his office. The court also said that the hands of investigators cannot be tied to prevent them from collecting evidence.

Pracha had moved the court seeking direction to police to retrieve only relevant information from his hard disk in a case of alleged tutoring of a witness in the northeast Delhi riots. His office was raided by the Delhi Police in connection with an FIR alleging that the advocate tutored a witness to initiate a false riots case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma said the court’s intervention in the case was not proper and an accused cannot dictate the investigating officer (IO) about the mode and manner for collection of evidence in an investigation. The court said the search warrant can be executed per law subject to the safeguards as per expert opinion.

“The collection of evidence is intrinsic to the investigation and hands of the investigators cannot be tied to prevent them from collecting evidence. The collection of data from its source is done to ensure its admissibility during the trial and it is imperative for the IO to collect the best form of evidence during the investigation as per its own discretion,” the court said. “...the 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,” it said.Pracha moved the sessions court against the order, which will hear the matter on March 27.



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