Jharkhand judge's hit-and-run 'accident' reaches SC as CCTV suggests murder
After CCTV footage indicated foul play in the "accident" that claimed the life of Judge Uttam Anand in Jharkhand, a lawyer on Thursday took up the incident before Supreme Court demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe. Initially believed to be an accident, CCTV footage suggested that the judge was attacked intentionally. The Jharkhand High Court has also taken suo motu cognizance.
Lawyer moves SC; calls incident 'brazen attack on judiciary'
Appearing before a Justice DY Chandrachud-led SC bench, lawyer Vikas Singh said it was "shocking" that a judge "dealing with bail applications of gangsters" got killed on a morning walk. Calling it a "brazen attack on the judiciary," Singh demanded a CBI probe. Notably, Judge Anand was hearing some mafia-related cases and had rejected the bail petitions of two gangsters from Uttar Pradesh.
Mention case before CJI: Justice Chandrachud
However, Justice Chandrachud suggested to Singh that he should mention the case before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana. The CJI later informed the petitioner that the Jharkhand HC had already taken up the matter. Separately, the Supreme Court Bar Association asked the SC to take suo motu cognizance of the case. The SCBA called it a "premeditated" attack.
How did Judge Anand die?
The "accident" happened early Wednesday morning in Dhanbad when judge Anand was hit by a three-wheeler while he was jogging. Passers-by rushed him to a nearby hospital, however, he succumbed to his injuries, the police said. His body remained unidentified for hours. The body was only identified later when the family filed a missing person's complaint as the judge did not return home.
What does the CCTV footage show?
The CCTV footage of the incident, which is doing the rounds on social media, showed that the judge was on his morning run at around 5 am. A three-wheeler vehicle is seen appearing from the back, swerving to the left as it drove near the judge, and ramming into him. The swerve indicates that the vehicle's driver had intended to deliberately target the judge.
Vehicle stolen hours before incident: Police
A police investigation has found that the vehicle was stolen mere hours before the incident. So far, the vehicle's driver and his aides have reportedly been arrested from Giridih. NDTV identified two of those arrested as Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Verma, citing Inspector General Amol Vinukant Homkar. The suspected vehicle has also been seized by the police.