Dhanbad: SIT Set up to Probe Death of Jharkhand Judge; 2 People Arrested
The CCTV footage of the accident showed that a tempo changed its lane to hit the judge, killing him on the spot.
A Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been set up under Additional Director General of Police (ADG) to probe the death of Additional District Judge (ADJ) Uttam Anand, who was killed in a road incident on Wednesday, 28 July, in Jharkhand's Dhanbad city, reported IANS.
The deceased, who was hit by a tempo while walking near the Randhir Verma Chowk in the city, is suspected to have been murdered in what had earlier been construed as an accident.
ADG Operation, Sanjay Ananad Latkar will lead the SIT, while the other members are Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Bokaro and Dhanbad Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP).
Meanwhile, two people including the driver of the vehicle, Lakhan Verma and his associate Rahul Verma have been arrested. The driver has reportedly admitted that he hit the judge with the vehicle, according to the IANS report.
The vehicle was recovered from Giridih district on Wednesday night itself. During the investigation, it was found that the vehicle was stolen on Tuesday, 27 July, and the judge was hit by it on Wednesday morning at 5.08 am. He died in the hospital at 9.30 am.
The CCTV footage of the incident, accessed by the police, reportedly showed that the tempo changed its lane to hit the judge, who was walking on the side of the vacant road, killing him on the spot.
The state government has sought a reply on the matter from the district magistrate.
Late judge Anand had been handling a murder case against a certain Ranjit, who is related to an influential family of Dhanbad, popularly known as the Singh Mansion. Sanjeev Singh, one the members of the family, had earlier been a BJP MLA from Jharia.
The judge had also been hearing cases of various mafia killings in Dhanbad, and had recently rejected the bail requests of two gangsters, NDTV reported.
HC to Monitor the Probe on a Day-to-Day Basis
Earlier in the day, the Jharkhand High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the death of the judge.
High Court Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan has issued an order directing the Superintendent of Dhanbad police to remain present before the court on Thursday, 29 July, in relation to the case.
The high court directed expeditious investigation in ADJ Uttam Anand's demise. The court will also monitor the investigation on a day-to-day basis.
Further, the police have been informed that if their investigation is not satisfactory, the case will be handed over to the CBI.
'Brazen Attack on the Judiciary': SCBA President on Judge Death Case in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has also taken note of the judge's death.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Vikas Singh, speaking in the Supreme Court on Thursday, called the suspected murder of the Jharkhand-based judge a 'brazen attack on the judiciary', and called for a CBI investigation into the matter.
"It is a brazen attack on judiciary. This is a matter which should go to the CBI. The local police is usually complicit in such matters. It is shocking. A judge is on a morning walk and is hit by a vehicle. He was dealing with bail applications of gangsters. This is an attack on judicial independence," the lawyer said, NDTV reported.
Justice Chandrachud, who heard the case, suggested that Singh present the case before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana.
(With inputs from NDTV and IANS)
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