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Dhanbad judge death: CBI, IB not helping judiciary at all, says SC as it issues notice to probe agency

The case pertains to the death of Uttam Anand, an additional district and sessions judge in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, in what police suspect was a premeditated hit-and-run incident.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 6, 2021 7:29:20 pm
A videograb of CCTV footage just before the auto rammed into ASJ Uttam Anand.

The Supreme Court Friday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the suo motu case pertaining to the death of Uttam Anand, an additional district and sessions judge in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, who was knocked down by an autorickshaw last month.

“There is a new trend to malign the judiciary when favourable orders aren’t passed in favour of high-profile people. The IB (Intelligence Bureau) and CBI aren’t helping the judiciary at all. When judges complain, they don’t respond,” the court said during the hearing, according to Bar and Bench. The matter is set to be heard next on August 9, during which Attorney General KK Venugopal has been asked to assist the top court.

The apex court also termed “serious” the incidents of judges being threatened and asked the states to file status reports on the security they are providing to the judicial officers. The bench told Attorney General Venugopal that there are several cases which involve gangsters and high-profile persons and there are instances of judges getting threats or abusive messages, news agency PTI reported.

The CBI registered the case under IPC Section 302 (murder) after the Jharkhand government recommended a probe by the investigating agency. Last month, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had called for an independent CBI probe into Anand’s death stating that it was an “attack on judicial independence”.

Earlier, Jharkhand Police had constituted an SIT and arrested two accused who were in the autorickshaw. The vehicle’s owner was also arrested subsequently. The motive of the crime is not known yet. But police suspect it was a premeditated hit-and-run incident.

The Jharkhand High Court had pulled up the SIT for the delay in registering the FIR. The HC also came down heavily on Jharkhand Police, which was probing the case. The court said that the state police were “feeding questions” to get “a particular answer”, which is “not appreciated”.

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