The Special Cell of the Delhi Police raided advocate Mehmood Pracha's office on Thursday in connection with a case of forgery and criminal conspiracy filed against him in August this year.
The Delhi police searched the premises for over 15 hours. Pracha has been fighting the cases on behalf of many accused in the clashes that broke out in the National Capital between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and those opposing it between February 23 and 26, reported Scroll.
Pracha represents several accused persons in the Delhi riots cases, including student-activist Gulfisha Fatima who has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
According to a senior police officer, Pracha, while filing a bail petition, had filed an affidavit in the court that was allegedly notarised by a lawyer who had died in 2017. The police claim that since it was notarised by a lawyer who died two-and-a-half years ago, it was a false affidavit and the signatures in it were forged.
The Delhi Police also alleged that Pracha had instigated a man, Irshad Ali, to depose falsely in a northeast Delhi riots case.
Irshad Ali had complained that his shop in Dayalpur was looted in the riots. But when the police asked if he can identify the persons who did it, he could not do so.
"Ali then stated that Pracha told him that he will attach his complaint with a similar case, in which the complainant was one Sharif, and the witnesses in his case, can depose for Ali as well," the officer added. "Ali stated that Pracha told him that this way, it will make his case stronger and he will get an eyewitness of the incident," reported the Print.
After the police raised these concerns before the Karkardooma court, the court had in August directed them to carry out a probe in the matter.
Following court orders, the Delhi Police had then registered an FIR under sections of forgery, cheating, conspiracy and giving out false information. However, Prachas's team had dismissed the allegations.
The searches at his office on Thursday were carried out after obtaining a warrant from a local court, a senior police officer told, according to media reports.
The police said that they were searching for "incriminating documents" and "metadata of outbox" of the official email address of Pracha's firm. The investigators also seized his computer and laptop.