They came in a gang of about three or four on Saturday night,broke into advocates chambers inside the Patiala House court complex,picked up whatever they could lay their hands on and escaped,with the booty loaded carefully on a cycle rickshaw.
The CCTV cameras did not capture any movement. One explanation is that there was a power cut when the thieves broke in. But an advocate claimed that CCTV wires had been cut.
Once inside the advocates chambers,the thieves dismantled the computer systems,pulled out air conditioners from windows and uprooted stabilisers from the walls. The gang then helped themselves to laptops and laser printers,and even tea mugs and tea sachets.
Speaking to Newsline,Advocate O P Arya said the clerk of the chamber adjacent to his called him to tell him that the lock to his chamber had been broken and all electronic items were missing.
Two other chambers had met the same fate. The thieves have stolen monitors,CPUs and UPS that stored all our legal files and case data. It must have taken them a lot of time to carry out their operation,but strangely,no one heard or saw anything. he said. The thieves also made sure that they cut the CCTV wires so that nothing was recorded, Arya said.
Arya claimed the gates of the complex are not guarded properly.
There is no check on the number of people entering the complex. Even after court hours and on holidays,when only the duty magistrates and some advocates should be allowed inside,many others enter the court premises, Arya said.
The advocates have now submitted a seven-point suggestion letter to the Bar Council,requesting them to step up security in the premises and man all the gates of the complex.
They have also suggested that anyone entering the court after sunset and on holidays be checked and their entry and exit be recorded. Another suggestion made by the advocates was to issue ID cards to canteen and other staff.
Advocate G S Chaturvedi said,There is no check on the two wheelers that enter the court. Also,the people have an option of evading the metal detector and taking an entrance that is not manned.
Police have registered a case at Tilak Marg police station and are investigating the matter.