The Central Bureau of Investigation has charged two men with murder for the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand, NDTV reported on Wednesday, citing the chargesheet filed in the case.
The accused men, an autorickshaw driver Lakhan Verma and his assistant Rahul Verma, were arrested on July 29 a day after Anand was allegedly killed after a three-wheeler ran over him. CCTV camera footage of the incident showed the vehicle suddenly swerving towards the 49-year-old judge, who was walking on an empty road, and hitting him.
Besides murder, the CBI has charged the two accused under sections 201 (disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information) and 34 (criminal acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, reported ANI.
In September, the CBI had told the Jharkhand High Court, which had taken suo motu cognisance of the incident, that the hit-and-run was intentional.
The response had come almost three weeks after the High Court had pulled up the central agency for its slow pace of investigation. On September 2, the court had asked the CBI to submit a status report on the investigation.
The CBI had taken over the case on August 4. Five days after that, the Supreme Court had directed the central agency to submit weekly reports to the Jharkhand High Court on the progress of the investigation.
Before his death, Judge Anand had been hearing the murder case of Ranjay Singh, who was a close confidante of former Jharia MLA Sanjiv Singh. The judge had also denied bail to Ravi Thakur, a protégé of Uttar Pradesh shooters 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, had 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.