Delhi violence: Court asks police how it plans to receive ‘target data’ from lawyer Mehmood Pracha

New Delhi: In a northeast Delhi violence case, a Delhi Court on Friday asked police to file its reply mentioning how it proposes to receive ‘target data’ from lawyer Mehmood Pracha without creating any evidential vulnerability and to retrieve the same without any alteration to the associated metadata. 

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma asked investigating officer (IO) to file its reply and listed the matter for further hearing on March 19.

“The search warrants were aimed to obtain the ‘target data’ which is in the hard disk that also contains other information/files belonging to other clients of the applicant. In this scenario, the issue related to the retrieval of ‘target data’ without interference with the other data stored in the hard disk has to be meticulously looked upon,” the Court said in its order.

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“At the same time, obtaining ‘target data’ without creating any evidential vulnerabilities for future purpose has to be considered because it is important for the investigating officer to maintain authenticity and integrity of the target data”, it added. 

A Delhi court on Wednesday put a stay on the search operation warrant issued against lawyer Mehmood Pracha in connection with a northeast Delhi violence case.

The Court was hearing on the plea filed by Pracha against the search conducted by Delhi Police on its office premise on Tuesday.

Pracha said in his plea that the demand of the Delhi Police for the hard disks of any of the computers of the applicant is absolutely illegal and unjustified, especially since the specific documents are already in their possession from the previous searches.

Pracha further added he himself would volunteer to present the identified computers before the court and the IO may obtain whatever he wishes to, and whatever is permitted by this court, from the said computers.

“It should be done in the court, so that the police will not able to play any mischief, while, at the same time, the court will also ensure that the object of the search warrant is also satisfied,” he added in the plea.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had alleged that Pracha had forged documents and instigated a man to depose falsely in a case related to the violence in northeast Delhi in February 2020.

The lawyer has been representing various accused and complainants in the case. Several cases were registered in connection with the northeast Delhi violence, in which at least 53 people were killed and several others were injured last year.

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