Dhanbad judge’s death: CBI takes over investigation, forms 20-member SIT
Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was allegedly murdered on July 28 in a hit-and-run incident.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday took over the inquiry into the death of a judge in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district last month, The Indian Express reported.
The agency has formed a 20-member Special Investigation Team, the Hindustan Times reported. Members of the team and experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Delhi left for Dhanbad on Wednesday night, unidentified officials told the newspaper.
Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was allegedly 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 Jharkhand Police had filed a murder case and formed a Special Investigation Team to conduct the inquiry in the case. On July 29, they arrested the driver of the autorickshaw and his alleged associate.
On August 2, the Special Investigation Team submitted a report to the Jharkhand High Court. The next day, the court pulled up the police over their delay in filing a first information report in the case. It also pulled up the Special Investigation Team for “feeding questions” to get a “particular answer”. It then agreed with the state government’s decision to hand over the investigation to CBI.
The CBI re-registered the murder case on Wednesday. The agency’s Additional Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar Shukla will be the investigating officer of the case, The Indian Express reported, citing an FIR.
The Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge had been hearing the 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.
On July 30, the Supreme Court also took note of his alleged murder, saying that it had wider ramifications. “We are getting reports that judicial officers are being attacked around the country,” Chief Justice NV Ramana had said. “We intend to examine this and may seek report from all states.”