2 held in Jharkhand judge’s death case, matter reaches SC

The Supreme Court on Friday took suo motu cognizance of the death of a Jharkhand judge and has sought a report from Jharkhand chief secretary, DGP on investigation progress in probe. The Supreme Court has said that the Jharkhand High Court will keep monitoring the probe into the alleged mowing down of the Jharkhand judge.

CJI Ramana observed, “An unfortunate incident happened on Wednesday where an ADJ was hit by an autorickshaw. This gruesome incident was rightly reported in newspaper and social media, the same was taken into cognizance by the Chief Justice of HC.” The Supreme Court took cognizance of the Jharkhand judge’s death case after taking into consideration similar incidents threatening the lives of judges and lawyers across the country. “We decided to take it up suo moto although we are aware that the Jharkhand HC has already taken suo motu,” said the Supreme Court. The court further added, “We direct the state secretary and the DGP of Jharkhand to file a report before the registry. We are not interfering with the proceedings going on before the HC of Jharkhand.” Two persons were on Thursday arrested in connection with the hit-and-run case in Dhanbad, which left Judge Uttam Anand dead during his morning jog on Wednesday. The arrests were made following the recovery of the three-wheeler involved in the incident.

CCTV footage showed that Uttam Anand, district and sessions judge-8 of Dhanbad court, was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk early on Wednesday when a heavy auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene. Locals took him to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared him dead on arrival. According to local court records, ASJ Anand passed 36 orders in July, of which 34 pertained to regular or anticipatory pleas for bail in cases ranging from murder to coal smuggling — he allowed the pleas in six.