2020 Delhi riots: Court warns accused’s advocate against ‘making false plea’

 A court here while hearing a 2020 northeast Delhi riots case has warned a defence counsel against “making a false plea” or attempting to “keep the court in the dark deliberately”.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a rioting case against Firoz Khan and five others, registered by New Usmanpur police station, which was at the stage of cross-examination of prosecution witnesses by the defence counsels.

During the proceedings on Tuesday, ASJ Pramachala noted that the six accused — Firoz Khan, Sirajuddin, Shakir Ali, Iqbal, Zakir Ali and Anas — who were granted bail, had appeared before the court.

But the advocate for the five accused, except Khan, took passover stating that in five minutes Khan’s counsel, Mehmood Pracha, would appear in the court, the judge noted.

In the absence of the designated counsel, a passover can be sought so that the matter is called later.

The advocate then stated that Pracha was not feeling well, although he was on his way to the court, the court noted.

Slamming the conduct, the judge said, “This practice had been deprecated in the past but to no avail. A warning is recorded herein to desist from making a false plea before the court or to make any endeavour to keep the court in the dark deliberately.”

Following this, the advocate offered to start cross-examination on behalf of the five accused to which the court agreed.

“Cross-examination on behalf of accused Firoz Khan is deferred as his counsel is stated to be not well today. The accused has been advised that he should also think about alternate arrangements,” the court said.

It later noted that Pracha joined the proceedings when the prosecution witness was being cross-examined.

The matter has been posted on February 16 for further hearing.

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