Delhi court deprecated an advocate’s unsubstantiated “wild allegations” against a public prosecutor of taking cash from police and threatening to frame him in a case.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat made the remarks while hearing the case regarding the alleged larger conspiracy behind the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.
Judge Rawat noted that during the bail arguments of an accused on August 26, arguments between advocate Mehmood Pracha and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad turned “acrimonious,” resulting in an adjournment.
After the case was adjourned, Pracha moved a preponement application, in which he again levelled allegation that the SPP had threatened to implicate him in this case, the judge noted.
He said that the SPP in his reply said that Pracha made specific personal allegations, including that the advocate conducted a private investigation on him and found out that Prasad, in an underhand manner, took cash from the police.
ASJ Rawat noted the SPP’s reply, according to which, if the allegations were correct, he was not fit to continue in the case and Pracha could place the material on record to substantiate the “false and grave allegations,” which questioned the SPP’s integrity.
The SPP also pointed out that Pracha cannot represent an accused in this case as there was a “conflict of interest” and violation of Bar Council Rules, the judge said, adding, Prasad also asked the court to refer the matter to the Delhi High Court for a legal opinion on whether Pracha could represent the accused in the case.
“The court had tried its level best to cool down the tempers between counsel for the accused and the SPP without any fruitful result,” the judge said in an order passed on November 25.
On the allegations of private investigation and the conflict of interest, the judge said, “Whenever counsel for the accused and SPP appear in a case, they should represent their client instead of resorting to making wild allegations.”
“In all fairness, the court does not, in this case, want to meddle into the allegations particularly made by counsel for the accused against the SPP and for that, the SPP may take action at his own end, if he so desires,” he said.
“However, the court deprecates the wild allegations without substantiation made against the SPP and particularly when it did not concern the merits of the case,” the judge added.
Regarding the issue of conflict of interest, the judge said that the accused despite being aware of the allegations of conflict of interest insisted on being represented by Pracha.
“Regarding this issue, whether it is a conflict of interest and is not allowed by Bar Council of Delhi rules, the same is left open for the prosecutor or for the Bar Council of Delhi to consider or to initiate an action if deemed fit under their rules,” he said.
As far as the court is concerned, the proceedings must continue as it hampers the case, he added.