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Monday, September 20, 2021

Maharashtra sanctions Rs 83 L to repair trial court inside Arthur Road jail

A senior jail officer said the court was locked for the last six years and could not be maintained as the jail authorities did not have the keys.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: August 5, 2021 1:27:51 am
The drainage system has collapsed with water flowing into the court. (Express Phot by Yogesh Naik)

THE STATE government Tuesday sanctioned Rs 83 lakh to carry out immediate repairs to a court built for the trial of terrorist Ajmal Kasab after the 26/11 attacks inside the Arthur Road Central Prison.

A senior jail officer said the court was locked for the last six years and could not be maintained as the jail authorities did not have the keys.

“The roof has been leaking heavily and the plaster falling off. The court was closed for the last six years and the furniture had been damaged due to moisture and leaking roof,” an official of the state Public Works Department, which maintains it, said.
PWD chief architect Bipin Sankhe had constructed the high-security cell with a concrete passage to the jail as Kasab was a high-security prisoner and it was risky to take him to any other court. The 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case was also heard at this court.

“We could not maintain the court as it was not in our custody. As long as Kasab was in this jail, it was maintained well. This court has been lying closed since 2016. This is what happens to structures that remain locked up. While the PWD was making a special cell for (fugitive businessman) Vijay Mallya, there were talks that he would be tried at the Arthur Road trial court, and it was then that we had told the PWD to repair it. This matter was also brought to the notice of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the state home department,” a senior officer of the jails department said.

According to PWD officers, now the drainage system had collapsed and drain water flowed into the court. The law and judiciary department has sanctioned the funds for repairing the drainage system and the court, procure new furniture, and weather-shed to avoid future leakage. PWD’s executive engineer Sanjay Indurkar said the repair work would start soon.

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