Supreme Court pulls up CBI over Jharkhand judge's death case
The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged murder of a Jharkhand judge. It pulled up the central probe agency for failing to respond to complaints of threats by judicial officers. CBI is currently investigating a 50-year-old judge's death in Dhanbad last week. Here are more details.
The top court was hearing a suo motu case on the issue of protection to courts and judges in the wake of the Jharkhand incident. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant remarked the CBI has "done nothing" and they expected a change in its attitude. The SC added that probe agencies are not helping the judiciary.
The SC noted that judges are threatened and mentally harassed for handling cases that involve criminals and gangsters. "This is a new trend in this country. If an adverse order is passed, then the judiciary is maligned. If judges file a complaint to the police or CBI, then they do not respond. The Intelligence Bureau and CBI are not helping the judiciary at all."
The Supreme Court called the Jharkhand judge's death a failure of the state. "Look at this unfortunate case of the death of a young judge." It has now asked state governments to file status reports on the security they are providing to judicial officers. The court will next hear the matter on Monday, August 9.
On July 28, District and Sessions Judge at the Dhanbad court, Uttam Anand, was knocked down by an autorickshaw while he was on his morning jog. He suffered "diffuse contusion" in the head, fracture and blood clots in the protection layer of the brain. While it was initially believed to be an accident, CCTV footage suggested the auto may have deliberately hit the judge.
The CBI took over the case on Wednesday, forming a 20-member team to investigate the matter. Earlier, several people were arrested by the local police in this case and the autorickshaw had been seized. Notably, Judge Anand was hearing several criminal cases and had also rejected the bail petitions of two gangsters from Uttar Pradesh.