The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president and senior advocate Vikas Singh on Thursday demanded an independent probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the death of additional district judge, Dhanbad, Uttam Anand. On Wednesday morning, ADJ Uttam Anand was returning home from his morning walk when he was fatally hit by a vehicle.
According to a report, speaking on the matter before the Supreme Court, initially before a bench headed by justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and later before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, Adv Singh said, “This is an attack on judicial independence. If a judiciary has to remain independent, judges have to be safe. An ADJ cannot be killed in this manner. This matter should be probed by CBI as local police can be complicit.”
CJI Ramana who specially took up the case, assured the SCBA president that he spoke to chief justice Ravi Ranjan of Jharkhand high court, who has said that the matter will be taken up by the high court.
The CJI appreciated the concern shown by the Bar saying, “We are overwhelmed at the initiative shown by SCBA. We appreciate the steps taken but let us not jump into conclusions.”
The Dhanbad police filed a murder case and arrested two persons who were allegedly riding the vehicle, an auto rickshaw, at the time of the incident. The police say the CCTV footage makes it clear the auto hit him deliberately. "Two people - Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Verma - have been arrested and the auto was seized. They have confessed," said Amol Vinukant Homkar, Inspector General.
The quarters of the judges is located near the Collectorate and District Court and is walking distance from Randhir Verma Chowk, named after the then SP of Dhanbad, who was gunned down by terrorists during an encounter at Bank More in 1992.
Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court, Ravi Ranjan, who received a call from the chief justice of India, has taken suo motu cognizance of Uttam Anand's "murder" and summoned SP and DIG to Ranchi in the afternoon.
The police on Thursday also formed a 14-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by additional director general of police Sanjay Anand Lathkar to investigate the matter after the Jharkhand high court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the incident.
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