Were held for stealing furniture from Le Corbusier Centre

In what raises doubts over the investigation of the UT police, three women arrested last year in a case of theft of heritage furniture from Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19, in which a security guard committed suicide and his family alleged police harassment, were today acquitted by the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Jagmeet Singh.

Rekha (35), Seema (40) and Hasheena (30), all residents of a colony in Sector 25, walked free. Deepika Gandhi, Director, Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19, had complained that eight V-shaped cushion chairs and two tables were stolen from the centre late on September 23 night in 2015.

Sukhchain Singh Gill, the then UT SSP, had claimed that after the accused in the theft of heritage furniture from the storeroom of the Government College of Art, Sector 10, were arrested, the police got a tip-off regarding three women involved in thefts in Sectors 18 and 19, and nearby areas. Based on the tip-off, the three accused were arrested. The furniture was recovered from their houses. According to the police theory, the women entered the campus of Le Corbusier Centre around 3.30 am and went to the place where the furniture was kept to commit the theft. They brought the furniture from the centre to the road and hired a vehicle to transport it. Delay in arrest: Defence Defence counsel Randeep S Rana contended that there was a delay of four and a half months in the arrest and "there was no name of the accused in the case". A "missing case" was registered and there was no theft case. “The police stated that they arrested them on the basis of the interrogation of Sunil and Fakir Chand, accused in a similar theft case. However, the two were later let off by the police, then how come their co-accused were found to be involved,” said Rana. It was stated that it was a false recovery imposed on them and the recovered furniture was not produced in the court; so there was no clarity that it was actually the heritage furniture stolen that day.

City’s heritage auctioned abroad Heritage furniture from Chandigarh went under the hammer at an auction held in February this year in Paris and was sold for Rs 60 lakh. There have been several auctions of heritage furniture from the UT at foreign auction houses since 2007. The UT Administration has failed to stall these auctions. The authorities there told the Administration that they purchased these items from dealers and had the receipts. Ironically, most of these items were sold as scrap in Chandigarh for a few thousand bucks.