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Meet India's master thief, who posed as judge and freed 2000 criminals, stole...

Dhani Ram sent the Jhajjar court's additional session judge on a two-month vacation after creating some fictitious paperwork.

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Meet India's master thief, who posed as judge and freed 2000 criminals, stole...
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Dhani Ram Mittal, an 85-year-old man whose life story read like the turns and turns of a compelling book, went away on April 18. Mittal had a renown as the "super thief." He started his illicit activities in 1968 when he stole automobiles from court parking lots in Haryana. He even boldly pretended to be a judge and freed prisoners. 

An ACP-ranked officer who had looked into Mittal's past and closed about two dozen open cases against him verified his death. "He had many health issues. He had been ill for a year," Mittal's son said, reflecting on his father's health struggles as the final rites were carried out at Nigambodh Ghat.

Mittal began his career as a restless BSc graduate who worked as a station master during the day but got his kicks after work by stealing cars from court parking lots. After obtaining a "forced leave order," he replaced a magistrate in Jhajjar and became a judge as a result of his run-in with the law. Despite his unorthodox judicial debut, Mittal demonstrated his dedication as a judge, frequently choosing bail over incarceration for cases that were still pending.

Once, Dhani Ram sent the Jhajjar court's additional session judge on a two-month vacation after creating some fictitious paperwork. Subsequently, Mittal sat on the chair and released more than two thousand criminals. Mittal had fleed before the authorities realised what was going on. 

Recognising the needs of the times, Mittal changed careers, taking a brief job as a clerk in the transport department of Haryana before attending a graphology course in Kolkata.

Mittal's real loves, though, were still cars and courts. In his lifetime, he committed over 1,000 crimes and was connected to over 150 cases of car theft in the states of Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

Dhani Ram Mittal, who holds degrees in law and handwriting analysis, was tricked into thinking he was a judge and freeing prisoners. In the beginning, he worked as a clerk and used his position to obtain false documentation and licences. He started his criminal career by stealing cars from Haryana court parking lots in the 1960s.

Mittal's criminal activities decreased as he grew older; his most recent arrest in 2016 for car theft in Delhi's Rani Bagh marked his 95th run-in with the law. Despite his brief stints in jail, Mittal's health problems—exacerbated by a stroke that left him paralyzed—finally claimed his life on April 18. 

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