A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed Nikhil Borwankar who is a practising advocate in the Delhi High Court praying for issuing appropriate guidelines of mandatory procedures to be followed by police or investigating authorities while conducting search and seizure operations on an advocate’s premises who is related by blood or marriage to a suspect, or who is believed to be in possession of contraband or the proceeds or instrumentalities of a crime.
It must involve business organizations where such search and seizure involve materials in the possession of individuals serving in the capacity of legal advisor to the organization and also for search of an advocate who is a disinterested third party.
The prayer also includes search and seizure to be conducted in business organizations where material involving the search is in possession of individual serving as a legal advisor.
The PIL has been filed in a larger public interest, aggrieved by the actions and omissions of Respondents while conducting search and seizure operations at the premises of “brother advocates”.
The respondents in the matter are State of NCT of Delhi, Union of India through Ministry of Home Affairs, Bar Council of Delhi, Bar Council of India and Registrar General of the Delhi High Court.
The plea stated, “The present petition, filed in public interest, prays for the framing of mandatory procedures / guidelines to be followed by police / investigating agencies in effecting search / seizure operations on the premises of an advocate who is a suspect, subject or target, or an advocate who is related by blood or marriage to a suspect, or who is believed to be in possession of contraband or the proceeds or instrumentalities of a crime; and also for searches of business organizations where such searches involve materials in the possession of individuals serving in the capacity of legal advisor to the organization; and also for search of an advocate who is a disinterested third party; whether with or without a warrant.”
Earlier, the plea was filed before a division bench of the High Court headed by the Chief Justice, D.N. Patel. But, no direction was issued in the matter. In this matter, the Additional Solicitor General opposed the issuance of notice by questioning the jurisdiction of the Public Interest Litigation.
The plea will now be heard on 11th February 2021.