The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed two more first information reports in connection with the death of judge Uttam Anand in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district, News18 reported on Thursday.
Judge Anand died on July 29 after he was hit by a vehicle on an empty road. However, there are allegations that the judge was murdered.
The two new cases registered by the CBI pertain to the theft of an autorickshaw and three mobile phones that are believed to have been used in the judge’s alleged murder, according to News18, which accessed the police documents.
One of the FIRs is based on a complaint by Dhanbad resident Sugani Devi, who alleged that her autorickshaw was stolen around 11 pm on July 17. The other FIR is reportedly based on a complaint by a man named Purendu Vishwakarma, who alleged that three of his mobile phones were stolen from his house on July 28, a day before judge Anand died.
Vishwakarma had not filed a complaint for a week after the phones were stolen, according to News18. He had reportedly claimed that the phones were not expensive and he had got the SIM cards deactivated.
With the two new FIRs, the CBI is now investigating a total of three cases in connection with the judge’s death, according to ANI.
Meanwhile, the CBI has increased a cash reward for anyone who can share information about judge Anand’s alleged murder from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, ANI reported.
The central agency took over the judge’s death case from the Jharkhand Police on August 5.
Earlier, the Jharkhand Police had arrested two accused in the case, namely Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Verma. The police had then said that the autorickshaw used in the crime had been seized, and the two had confessed to the crime.
Judge Anand’s death
Allegations that Judge Anand may have been murdered cropped up after CCTV footage showed the autorickshaw suddenly swerving towards him and hitting him. The vehicle then drove away.
The 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 August 17, the Supreme Court, while hearing a suo motu petition on the matter, asked the Centre to take steps to protect judges and ensure the safety of courts. The court said that matter of judges’ safety should not be left to the states alone.