Documents relating to several hundred cases at the Joint District Judge’s court were burnt to ashes by a fire that broke out at the courtroom yesterday.
Police said Azhar Ali, night guard of the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, noticed smoke billowing out of the Joint District Judge’s court around 7am and informed the fire service.
The fire fighters rushed to the spot and doused the blaze around 7:30am.
Several hundred case records, computer and furniture of the courtroom were burnt to cinders by that time.
Court’s bench assistant (peshkar) Afaz Uddin said he was the last man to leave the courtroom on Thursday after work.
He said he left the room around 10pm and claimed no mosquito coil or cigarette was burning during his departure.
Abdul Malek, inspector (warehouse) of Panchagarh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said the fire did not originate from electrical short circuit or any other sources from the electric connection.
Although he could not ascertain the reason behind the fire, he observed that the fire could have been generated from sources like mosquito coil or cigarette.
Senior lawyer of Panchagarh Bar Association Nazmul Islam Kajal said many of the records destroyed in the incident, particularly the records of civil cases, are irretrievable and will lead to immense hassles for the plaintiffs and the defendants as well.
Joint District Judge Mamun-ur-Rashid told reporters that details of the losses could be known after further scrutiny.
Meanwhile, a three-member committee, headed by Senior Judicial Magistrate Krishna Kanta Roy, has been formed to probe the incident.
The committee has been asked to submit the report within next three days. Krishna Kanta Roy yesterday recorded the statement of bench assistant Afaz Uddin and sent him to jail.