Uttam Anand was knocked down by a speeding auto rickshaw on July 28
The CBI told the Jharkhand High Court on Thursday that the hit-and-run involving Additional Session Judge of Dhanbad court in Jharkhand was deliberate.
A video of the judge Uttam Anand, 49, being hit and killed by an auto rickshaw as he was taking a morning stroll in Dhanbad town had made media headlines.
He was hit from behind by the speeding auto rickshaw on July 28 at Randhir Verma chowk (thoroughfare). He was declared dead at the hospital.
The State government recommended CBI probe on July 31. The agency took over the case on August 4 and formed a 20-member investigating team. It had also declared a reward of ₹5 lakh for anyone sharing information of importance pertaining to the case.
Soon after the video was shown in several news channels, the Supreme Court took notice of it and said the incident had wider “ramifications”. The Jharkhand HC took suo motu cognisance of the incident and a division bench comprising Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan Sinha and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad has been monitoring the case. The Jharkhand HC had also expressed displeasure at the slow progress of investigation.
The CBI, sources said, has informed the court that the “probe is in the final stage as forensic reports are being corroborated with physical evidences”. The investigating agency has engaged forensic teams from Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai to analyse the evidences.
The CBI had earlier arrested two persons — the driver of the auto rickshaw Lakhan Verma and his helper Rahul Verma. They were subjected to brain mapping and narco tests. The auto rickshaw was registered in the name of a woman.
Judge Uttam Anand was said to be hearing several cases related to killings by mafias in Dhanbad and had rejected bail petitions of some gangsters. Dhanbad is infamous for local dons and coal mafias operating with impunity in the coal belts of the district.
Earlier, on September 3, the Jharkhand HC had asked the CBI whether it had questioned the biker who was seen passing by the judge in the video soon after he was hit by the auto rickshaw. The HC had also expressed unhappiness at the failure to make appointments in the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in the State and said this had “rendered it non-functional”.
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