Preetika defends and prosecutes in the Crown Court, Youth Court and Magistrates Court. Her practice covers the full spectrum of criminal cases. She is also building a practice in extradition law and crime related public law.
Preetika is a confident and versatile trial advocate. Prior to joining the 36 Group, Preetika completed a crime pupillage at 25 Bedford Row and also practised across discrimination law at Doughty Street Chambers. As a result, she is equally comfortable and proficient at trial advocacy (whether a case turning on witness credibility or voluminous documentary evidence), submissions advocacy and legally complex civil pleadings/written advocacy.
Preetika has an excellent record in cases with challenging odds and before difficult benches – including succeeding in a case against a Band 1 Silk. She is known for her client care, attention to detail and leaving no stone unturned as a fearless defence advocate.
Preetika’s background prior to the bar is in gender justice and human rights activism (domestically and internationally). She was part of the committee that reformed Indian criminal law following the Delhi gang rape in 2012. She subsequently worked with UN Women HQ and the Government of India on implementation of these reforms.
Her international law experience includes:
- Part of the Karadžić defence team at the ICTY (appeal arguments in relation to failure to reopen defence case to remedy prosecution disclosure violations).
- Office of the UN Secretary General at UNHQ (assisted multilateral processes in UN General Assembly and Security Council; speech writing; report writing).
- Consultant for UNICEF on rights of children within Myanmar’s criminal justice system.
- Advising international NGOs in relation to international human rights mechanisms.
Preetika also previously set up a vulnerable witnesses training project for law schools in India along with the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.
Preetika has a particular interest in cases at the intersection of crime, cyber law, human rights and international law. She has worked on landmark constitutional litigation around the world at this crossover. This includes working with the former Solicitor General of India on a challenge to the world’s most intrusive surveillance and biometric database (Privacy/Aadhar case).
Preetika also worked on:
- The case which decriminalised same-sex relations in India (Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India).
- Intervening in a challenge to the deportation of 40,000 Rohingya Refugees in India (Mohammed Salimullah v Union of India).
- A $550 million arbitration arising out of the sale of adulterated medicines in the US (heard in Singapore).
- The Vijay Mallya extradition case.
Appointments & Memberships
- Criminal Bar Association
- Young Fraud Lawyer's Association
- Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales
- Human Rights Lawyers Association
- Administrative Law Bar Association
- Grade 1 CPS Prosecutor
Preetika has published articles and blog posts on a range of human rights issues including for: European Human Rights Law Review, Discrimination Law Association, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy and Each Other (formerly Rights Info).
VJ Appeal Against Conviction & Sentence (Wood Green Crown Court):
- Conviction overturned on appeal in domestic violence assault case. Involved complex legal arguments and psychiatric evidence relating to fitness to plead/fitness to stand trial.
- Case raised novel legal issues relating to the role and impact of Crown Court fitness proceedings on an appeal brought from the Magistrates court.
R v HDG & Ors (Multi handed joint enterprise robbery trial):
- Bromley Youth Court, Lay Bench:
- Represented only youth defendant (age 14) acquitted in multi count joint enterprise robbery. Co-defending with counsel of approximately 15 years call.
- The defence case for HDG was based on the change in the requisite mens rea for joint enterprise following Jogee.
- Case required cross examination of three 14-year-old complainants.
R v BR (Trial)
- Medway Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Defendant acquitted of offence of possession of knife in public.
- BR’s defence was based on the fact that he had forgotten that he had the knife in his pocket when he went to the pub.
- Successfully persuaded court that BR had a good reason for possession even though case law states that the court should be cautious when concluding that forgetfulness amounts to a good reason.
R v AJ (Trial)
- Stratford Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Defendant acquitted of breach of restraining order in spite of the admission of bad character evidence of similar breaches.
- Successfully persuaded the court that defendant had reasonable excuse for breach - relating to selling of his house.
- Case required research into aspects of housing and family law and cross examination/ examination in chief touching on these areas.
R v MP (Trial)
- Croydon Magistrates Court, District Judge
- Case required sensitive handling in light of issues of legal privilege. Solicitor with conduct was required to provide a witness statement after the defendant had been wrongly advised at the police station and other errors.
- Successfully applied to exclude significant statements made by the defendant prior to caution under S78 PACE. This required lengthy legal submissions on how breach of PACE Code C interacts with S78 PACE.
R v MY (Trial)
- Colchester Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Acquittal of defendant accused of domestic assault by beating and battery.
- Successful legal argument that dangerous driving prior to the alleged assault did not form part of the facts of the offence and was therefore inadmissible bad character evidence.
R v RK (Trial)
- Bexyley Heath Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Defendant acquitted of handling stolen goods.
- Successfully argued that the evidence of the Officer in the Case and victim of the burglary was non-admissible as the Crown had failed to comply with the Criminal Practice Directions.
- Successfully opposed Crown application to introduce bad character evidence.
- As a result, was able to make a successful half time submission of no case to answer.
R v DLM (Trial)
- Bromley Magistrates Court, District Judge Rose
- Secured acquittal in the defendant’s absence.
- Defendant accused of Public Order Offences on the London Underground including sexually harassing multiple female complainants.
- Case involved issues relating to correctness of identification evidence and identification procedures under PACE Code D.
R v PH (Trial)
- Stevenage Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Trial in relation to failure to provide roadside breath test, multiple public order offences and assault an emergency worker.
- Involving the cross examination of 3 police officers.
R v EK (Sentence):
- Kingston Crown Court.
- Defendant admitted breaching his suspended sentence order in relation to Dangerous Driving offence. HHJ was persuaded not to activate the suspended sentence and not to impose immediate custody.
R v RB (Sentence)
- Wimbledon Magistrates Court, District Judge
- Sentence of an adult for 1 x Possession of a Knife in a Public Place without good reason and 3 x Possession of Class A Drugs (MDMA, Ketamine & Cocaine).
- The District Judge stated that the offences had clearly merited an immediate custodial sentence of between 6 months to 1 year due to seriousness according to the sentencing guidelines.
- The DJ concluded that in spite of this, she had been persuaded by mitigation to sentence outside of the guidelines and award the defendant a 12-month community order.
R v JS (Sentence)
- Stevenage Magistrates Court, Lay Bench
- Secured a conditional discharge for a man who committed a racially aggravated assault against nurse as well as racially aggravated criminal damage to the clinic.
- Bench persuaded to sentence outside of the guidelines where custodial sentence would otherwise have been merited.
R v SM (Sentence):
- Willesden Magistrates Court, District Judge
- Secured an absolute discharge for defendant who assaulted ex-partner and ex-partners new girlfriend.
Awards and Scholarships
- Sir Geoffrey Nice Foundation International Criminal Law Award, Inner Temple, Bar of England and Wales (2016) & (2017)
- International Bar Association Human Rights Training Award (2015)
- Jardine Studentship, Inner Temple, Bar of England and Wales (2015)
- Major Exhibition Award, Inner Temple, Bar of England and Wales (2015)
- NDTV Indian of the Year Award for Contributions to Gender Justice – Awarded to the Justice Verma Committee (2013)
- City University, London - BPTC
- The London School of Economics & Political Science - LLM
- University of Oxford - BA (Hons) Jurisprudence (Law) 2.1