In the hit and run case of Dhanbad additional district and sessions judge Uttam Anand, the two accused persons – autorickshaw driver Lakhan Verma and his accomplice Rahul Verma – were handed life imprisonment by the special CBI court of Rajnikant Pathak.
The accused were held guilty of murder, besides other charges, on Thursday, exactly two years after judge Anand was mowed down during morning walk on a deserted road. The special CBI court undertook a speedy trial in the case and completed the hearing in record five months.
Notably, CCTV footage showing the autorickshaw intentionally hitting the judge from behind had raised doubts over his death. The Jharkhand High Court took suo-moto cognisance and called the incident a direct attack on judiciary. The investigation was handed over by the Jharkhand government to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which re-registered the case and filed the chargesheet in October last year.
Expressing disappointment over the progress in the case, the high court had asked the CBI joint director to expedite the probe as the delay was slackening the morale of judicial officers. During the trial, the special CBI court saw 58 witnesses being presented before it. Special public prosecutor of CBI crime branch Amit Jindal produced the postmortem report, CCTV footage, besides several 3D images to prove that the accused hit the judge intentionally to snatch his mobile phone.