A court in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district on Thursday convicted two men who have been accused of murdering Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, Bar and Bench reported.
The court held autorickshaw driver Lakhan Kumar Verma and his accomplice Rahul Kumar Verma guilty under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (disappearance of evidence) and 34 (acts done with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. The verdict came exactly a year after judge Anand’s death.
The prosecution argued in the court that the motive was to snatch Judge Anand’s mobile phone, The Indian Express reported. It was a premeditated act and warranted a conviction for murder, the prosecution said.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyer said that Judge Anand was not intentionally hit, and so, the accused persons could be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The court said it will hear arguments on the quantum of the sentence on August 6.
Judge Anand died on July 28 last year in Dhanbad after a three-wheeler ran over him. CCTV 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.
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.
The trial in Judge Anand’s murder case began in February this year, PTI reported. The case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Jharkhand government.