The Special Investigation Team formed to conduct an inquiry into the death of a judge in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district submitted its report to the High Court on Monday, the Hindustan Times reported. The court is likely to take up the matter on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the court sent the two accused – the driver of the auto-rickshaw and his suspected associate – in the case to judicial custody. They had been arrested last week.
Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was murdered on July 28 in a hit-and-run incident. CCTV footage of the incident showed an auto-rickshaw suddenly swerving towards Anand, who was walking on an empty road, and hitting him. The vehicle, which was reportedly stolen, then drove away.
The judge had been hearing the sensitive murder case of Ranjay Singh, who was a close confidante of former Jharia MLA Sanjiv Singh. He had also denied bail to Ravi Thakur, a protégé of infamous Uttar Pradesh shooter Abhinav Singh and Aman Singh, just three days before his death.
After the judge’s death, the police registered a murder case and formed a Special Investigation Team to look into the incident.
The Jharkhand High Court took cognisance of the matter and said it wanted a “speedy, fair and professional investigation”. On July 29, the court had directed the Special Investigation Team to submit a report to it by August 3.
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On Monday, Dhanbad Senior Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Kumar said that the report had been submitted to the court but refused to provide details about it, according to the Hindustan Times.
The police officer said 243 people had been questioned so far. “Most of these men were those who have had a criminal history in the past,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “Some have been convicted in different cases. However, all of them were released after questioning. Till now, only two persons have been arrested in the case.”
Meanwhile, members of the Special Investigation Team held a meeting to discuss the progress of the inquiry. Additional Director General (operations) Sanjay Anand Lathkar said the team was looking at all possible angles in the case.
“[The] SIT is investigating the case in a professional way and would take help of scientific techniques in probe for resolving the case,” Lathkar was quoting as saying by PTI.
The police have seized 250 auto-rickshaws and searched 53 hotels amid their investigation into the judge’s death.
Two police officers have been suspended. One of them reportedly didn’t take prompt action in a complaint related to the theft of the auto. The other officer was suspended for making CCTV footage of the incident public, according to PTI.
Last week, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the judge’s death.