Theft of Chandigarh’s heritage furniture: Six walk free as prosecution fails to prove case

Updated on Oct 16, 2022 04:29 AM IST

Chandigarh Police had arrested six scrap dealers for stealing the heritage furniture from Government College of Arts, Sector 10, in January 2016.

15 heritage sofa chairs and a heritage wooden table were stolen from Government College of Arts, Sector 10, on the night of January 18, 2016 (HT File Photo/Representational)
15 heritage sofa chairs and a heritage wooden table were stolen from Government College of Arts, Sector 10, on the night of January 18, 2016 (HT File Photo/Representational)
By, Chandigarh

The court of judicial magistrate Puneet Mohinia on Saturday let off six people, including two women, who were arrested on charges of stealing heritage furniture from a government college in 2016, after the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.

Those acquitted include Sunil Kumar, 33, Anil Kumar, 25, Rajesh Kumar, 32, Fakir Chand, 46, Sakila and Usha, alias Sweety, all scrap dealers and residents of Sector 25.

In January 2016, Vinod Kumar, junior assistant at Government College of Arts, Sector 10, had complained to the police that the college watchman, Ajit Singh, who remained on duty from 12 am to 9 am, had checked in on the heritage furniture stored at the college at 11 pm on January 18, 2016, and found it safe.

But when he went for another round at 5.30 am on January 19, the lock of the warehouse was broken, and 15 heritage sofa chairs and a heritage wooden table were missing.

On receiving the complaint, police had registered a theft case and subsequently arrested the six scrap dealers, who they claimed were experts in hiding stolen goods.

While the detailed court order is awaited, advocate Yadvindra Singh Sandhu, defence counsel for five of the six accused, except Fakir, said, “The police implicated innocent people. During cross-examination, the complainant said he only identified the recovered goods, while there was no recovery in front of him.”

Advocate Rabindra Pandit, who represented Fakir, said, “There were contradictions in the police claims and they even failed to prove the recoveries. There was no independent witness in the case and there was difference of time regarding the incident.”

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