Even the courts are not safe from criminals. Sessions Court Judges Shrihari Davare and KD Rathod were in for a shock on Monday, when they resumed work after the October 20-29 Diwali vacation.
Their courtrooms had been broken into and the document drawers ransacked. While none of the papers seem to be missing, the thief made off with Judge Davare's gown.
Judge Davare is hearing two important cases, including that of Pravin Mahajan who is accused of killing his elder brother, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan.
Charges are likely to be framed against Pravin on Tuesday. The other case is that of Dawood Ibrahim henchman Anil Parab, who is charged with murdering a person inside the Andheri metropolitan magistrate court in 1984.
Parab's documents were with Judge Davare when the break-in occurred, while Mahajan's documents were in another safe.
The thief entered Judge Rathod's courtroom by breaking the main door glass.
The Colaba police, clueless about the culprits, has decided to tighten security at the court when it goes on vacation again in December.
A case of housebreaking has been registered. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Brijesh Singh said, "It's shocking. Henceforth, security at courts will be a top priority."
The incident came to light at 8.45 am when a staffer opened Judge Davare's courtroom for cleaning and found documents scattered all over and the stenographer's locker open.
He informed the court's liaison officer, who called in the police. Senior officials rushed to the spot with a dog squad and fingerprinting experts.
Singh said preliminary investigations show that the thief was looking for some documents, but fled with the gown when he couldn't find them.
He added that the thief must have climbed up the water pipe of the Old Secretariat, which houses the court, and entered Judge Davare's courtroom through the toilet window.
City Civil Court Registrar VV Narvekar said, "The incident occurred during the vacation when there are no police personnel. Only one court staffer is deployed to take care of the premises."
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