Evidence in a case, ₹2 lakh cash stolen from inside Delhi CBI court
The rare crime unfolded as special CBI judge Vimal Kumar Yadav was presiding over a corruption case at the newly inaugurated Rouse Avenue court near the Income Tax Office in central Delhi on May 1.Updated: May 16, 2019 10:57 IST
A wad of currency worth ₹2 lakh, which helped the Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI) trap an accused in a corruption case, ended up getting stolen from one of the safest places possible: the courtroom. The cash, part of evidence in a case being heard in the court, was allegedly stolen by a court staffer and was recovered by police from a room adjacent to the chamber of the judge.
The rare crime unfolded as special CBI judge Vimal Kumar Yadav was presiding over a corruption case at the newly inaugurated Rouse Avenue court near the Income Tax Office in central Delhi on May 1.
Police said that they booked court staffer Kamal Singh Rawat, an “orderly”, for the theft and that he has been suspended by the court. If convicted, he faces a maximum jail term of three years.
Court officials said the ₹2 lakh in cash – 100 bills of ₹2,000 – was placed in a yellow envelope inside a bag which was in the custody of CBI constable Niranjan Singh.
Officials said the cash had earlier been used by the CBI as “trap money” in a corruption case.
On the day of the hearing, it was handed to Singh along with other case-related documents.
In his statement, Singh told the police that he briefly asked Rawat to keep an eye on the bag when he went to the washroom during the lunch hour at around 1.30pm. Around two hours later, when Singh checked the bag, he found the cash-filled envelope missing.
He immediately informed the judge and the court staff began searching the courtroom for the money. The police were alerted and the occupants of the courtroom were barred from leaving.
“Everyone was looking at the drawers, washrooms, almirahs...,” said Singh in his statement.
Rawat was sent to search the cabin of the judge’s personal secretary, which was adjacent to the judge’s chamber. Officials said Rawat went inside that room for a while and allegedly announced that he did not find anything.
When a second search was initiated, another court employee checked that room and found the cash in a bowl, wrapped in cloth. Since Rawat had searched the room earlier, suspicion fell on him and he allegedly “confessed” when confronted by the judge.
A senior Delhi Police officer, who did not wish to be named, said the police had registered an FIR at the IP Estate Police station but were yet to make any arrests.