Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused

Officer also tried to assault the lawyer right outside Sessions court chamber

By Staff Reporter,

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Jaipur: In an unprecedented event, senior Supreme Court lawyer Mahmood Pracha was threatened directly by a Rajathan Anti-Terrorist Squad officer for defending terror case accused persons.

Pracha has filed a complaint letter before the court.

The incidence happened just outside the session court chamber in Jaipur around 12.30 pm on Thursday when the ATS officer Dinesh Sharma tried to assault and straightforwardly threatened Pracha for defending accused in the case and said if he does not leave the cases, then he (Pracha) would be killed.

Advocate Mehmood PrachaMehmood Pracha

Confirming the incidence, Advocate Tahiwar Pathan, assistant of Advocate Pracha told, “Earlier we used to receive threats from underworld dons but now the men in uniform are threatening us. Fortunately, the incidence happened in the court premises due to which judge himself asked sir (Pracha) to file a complaint before the court.”

The court has taken serious note of the incidence and has asked Pracha to file a complaint before it so as to legally deal with the matter.

This is second time that Pracha has been threatened of dire consequences for defending terror accused. Last year he was threatened allegedly by underworld don Ravi Pujari.

On Thursday, Pracha was in the session court for the trial proceedings of UAPA case registered by state ATS against accused Shahbaz Ahmed, Muhammad Sajjad and three others. Pracha was representing three accused in the case and was arguing before the court that the case is concocted and based without evidence.

As per Pathan, Advocate Pracha argued before court, “There are only two possibilities for this evidence less case. Either the ATS falsely implicated accused because they are not spirited enough to arrest real culprits or they wish to shield real culprits.”

Pracha’s contention irked the ATS officer, who – rather than the Public Prosecutor – started to argue the case before the court but could not continue as he is not the lawyer of state but an investigating officer.

Soon after the proceeding ended, the matter was adjourned and the ATS officer Sharma started to abuse Pracha in a filthy language and threatened him of killing him if he continues as a lawyer in terror related cases.

Pathan said that Sharma was nervous due to court proceedings as their case was falling short in proving allegations so in a rage he raised his hand on Pracha sir and wanted to beat him saying, “After so much of hurdle and difficulty we arrest terrorists and you release them. Stop defending terrorists or meet your destiny.”

“ATS frustration is proof that the accused are innocent. If ATS believe that the accused are real culprits then they should not be worried if we are defending the accused,” Pathan said, adding, “Such threat from ATS officer is not an attack against a lawyer but an attempt to lower the dignity of Indian judiciary.”

Protest/strong condemnation from all over

Meanwhile, Rashid, the state president of Welfare Party, Rajasthan unit, too has strongly condemned the incident as a “serious human rights issue.”

“The PUCL is shocked and condemns the brazen and blatant way in which the ATS Rajasthan CI Dinesh Sharma openly gave a death threat to Advocate Pracha. As soon as advocate Pracha stepped out of the court room, CI Dinesh Sharma along with 40 or more policeman intimidated Pracha and threatened to kill Pracha by means a bullet if he dared to come again as the defendant’s lawyer,” Prem Krishan Sharma, PUCL’s president, and Kavita Srivastava, PUCL’s general secretary, said.

“The PUCL members have talked to the lawyers present, the PUCL interns who had gone for a court visit yesterday and Pracha himself and has reached the conclusion that the death threat was made publicly by ATS CI Dinesh Sharma and therefore demands the lodging of an FIR, arrest and immediate suspension of CI Dinesh Sharma,” they said.

Claiming that PUCL believes most of the members of the ATS are “so arrogant and have a perception of being above the law” that they try to interfere with the constitutional right of defense and fair trial of the accused. Earlier too, the same CI Dinesh Sharma had misbehaved with Advocate Paiker Farooq when he was arguing the Jaipur bomb blast matters.”

“The attack on Pracha is an attack on the right to defense of the accused whose case he had come to argue. The PUCL along with other organisations, will campaign for the above demands,” they added.


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