Jharkhand High Court Orders SIT Probe into Dhanbad Judge Death Case

Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday ordered an SIT probe into the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand the day before when he was out for a morning jog.

File photo of Jharkhand High Court (Photo Credit: ANI)

Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday ordered an SIT probe into the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand the day before when he was out for a morning jog.

CCTV footages showed that Anand, a district and sessions judge of Dhanbad court, was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk early on Wednesday when a heavy auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene.

Another auto-rickshaw driver found him lying in a pool of blood and took to him to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Two persons have been arrested in this connection so far, according to Dhanbad SSP Sanjiv Kumar.

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Taking cognizance of a letter filed before the court by the Dhanbad principal district judge in the case, Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan converted it into a writ petition, and ordered the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), under the leadership of Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Latkar, to look into the matter.

He further said that Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has spoken to him in the matter, and expressed confidence that a fair investigation will be carried out in the case.

The court said it will monitor the probe and sought updates from the SIT from time to time.

It also observed that the law and order situation in Jharkhand has worsened as earlier, too, an advocate had come under attack in the state.

Jharkhand Director General of Police Neeraj Sinha, during the hearing of the case, assured the court that the investigation would be carried out in a professional manner and suggested the name of Sanjay Lautkar as the head of the SIT.

The court expressed its displeasure over the delay in registration of FIR following the incident.

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If at any point in time it appears to the court that the investigation is not heading in the right direction, then the case will be handed over to the CBI, the chief justice said.

He asked the police to ensure that culprits, if any, are punished in the case.

Not just the auto driver, the person who hatched the conspiracy should also be unmasked, he said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who is also the president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), mentioned the matter before the Supreme Court during the day, and described the incident as a brazen attack on the independence of judiciary.

Singh said investigation in the case must be entrusted to the CBI as the killing of a judicial officer, apparently for not granting bail to a gangster, is an assault on the judicial system.

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant, however, stated that the chief justice of Jharkhand High Court has already taken up the matter, and interference by the apex court at this stage may not be necessary.

Singh also attended the proceedings in the high court and assured all help.