Dhanbad judge death: SC asks Jharkhand HC CJ to monitor CBI to submit weekly report

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The Supreme Court directed the CBI to file a weekly status report before the Jharkhand HC on the investigation into the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand.

Dhanbad judge death, Jharkhand

Image: ANI/PTI

The Supreme Court on Monday, August 9, directed the CBI to file a weekly status report before the Jharkhand HC on the investigation into the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand. A bench of CJI NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant was hearing the suo moto case- ‘Safeguard courts and protecting judges’ in the wake of Anand’s killing. While the CBI shared details of the investigation as mandated by the SC during the last hearing, the CJI expressed dissatisfaction over the contents of the report submitted in the sealed cover.

CJI Ramana stated, “We want something concrete. Arrest and seizing of vehicles is done by state”. Retorting to this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pointed out that those driving the autorickshaw are being interrogated. Thereafter, the bench stated, “We will adjourn, let the chief justice continue and monitor the case. We will keep the case pending. keeping in view of gravity we direct CBI to file a status report in Jharkhand HC every week”. 

Dhanbad judge death case: Supreme Court says that keeping in view the gravity of the case, we direct the probe agency CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to file a status report in Jharkhand High Court every week, and Chief Justice of Jharkhand HC will monitor the case. pic.twitter.com/RFYDz792mR

— ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2021

CBI commences probe into Dhanbad judge’s death

Serving as the Additional District and Sessions Judge in Dhanbad, Uttam Anand was killed after being hit by an autorickshaw on the morning of July 28. This incident took place when he was out for a morning walk at the Randhir Verma Chowk near the district court in the Sadar police station area. After an autorickshaw driver found him lying in a pool of blood, he was rushed to the  Shahid Nirmal Mahto Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Meanwhile, his family contacted the Dhanbad Sadar police station after Anand didn’t return to his residence until 7 am. The police reached the hospital after getting a call about an unclaimed body after which the judge’s bodyguard identified him. Senior Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Kumar told the media that the auto hit from the rear at about 5 am and fled the spot.

The suspicion about foul play strengthened after the CCTV footage emerged where an autorickshaw is seen going out of its way to the extreme left of the road and hitting the judge. On the same night itself, the vehicle in question was seized from Giridih and brought to the Dhanbad police station. Based on the CCTV revelation, the deceased judge’s father stressed that he was a “murder by conspiracy”. 

After the Jharkhand High Court accepted the Hemant Soren-led government’s recommendation for a CBI probe dated July 30, the central agency formally took over the investigation on August 4. The FIR was registered against an unknown rickshaw driver under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. For the last two days, the central agency has taken accused Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma to the site of the incident for recreating the crime scene and verifying the sequence of events. 

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