Dhanbad judge death echoes in Supreme Court, CJI says matter taken up by Jharkhand HC

Two people have been arrested in the case so far. Both the arrests were made after the recovery of the three-wheeler involved in the incident.

The death of an Additional Sessions Judge of Dhanbad in a hit-and-run echoed in the chambers of the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The apex court said that the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court has taken up the matter related to the alleged killing and officers concerned in the case have been asked to be present before it.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant said this after senior advocate Vikas Singh, who is also the president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), mentioned the matter and said this is a “brazen attack” on the independence of the judiciary. He also requested for a CBI probe into the matter.

“We are aware of the incident and we appreciate the efforts of SCBA. I have spoken to the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. He has taken up the case and has asked the officers to be present there. The matter is going on there. Leave it there,” the CJI was quoted as saying to Singh by news agency PTI.

On Wednesday morning, judge Uttam Anand was killed in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district after being hit by a vehicle. The incident was recorded in CCTV footage.

The judge was found to be lying in a pool of blood by an auto-rickshaw driver, who took him to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The footage, which has gone viral, shows Anand jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk early on Wednesday when a heavy auto-rickshaw veers towards him, hits him from behind and flees the scene.

According to PTI, two people have been arrested in the case so far. Both the arrests were made after recovery of the three-wheeler involved in the incident.

“We have arrested two persons Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma involved in the incident early Thursday morning. Rahul Verma, a resident of Digwadih, Dhanbad has been arrested from Dhanbad Tempo stand while the other was arrested from Mangrudih police station area in Giridih,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Dhanbad Sanjiv Kumar told PTI.

In her complaint to the police, the judge’s wife Kriti Sinha wrote that her husband left the house at 5 am and when he did not return for long, the family started looking for him. “He was taken to the hospital by locals and an autowala hit him from behind. Please take legal action,” the complaint said.

Prabhat Sinha, a lawyer with the Jharkhand High Court, said: “It is a clear case of murder. The CCTV footage clearly shows the auto driver intentionally hitting the judge.”

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