Jharkhand: CBI takes over probe into death of Dhanbad judge in ‘hit-and-run’ incident

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday took over the investigation into the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand in an alleged hit-and-run incident.

This comes days after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren recommended a CBI probe into the matter and “assured that justice would prevail”.

Judge Uttam Anand had gone for a morning walk at Randhir Verma Chowk on Wednesday, July 28, when an auto-rickshaw came from behind, swerved sharply to the left and drove him away after hitting him. A passerby took Anand to a hospital but he succumbed to his injuries later.

Earlier this week, a senior police official had stated that they had detained 243 suspects and arrested 17 persons in connection with the case, and seized 250 auto-rickshaws. Raids had been conducted in different police station areas of the district and 53 hotels were searched. Among those arrested, Lakhan Verma, 22, and Rahul Verma, 21, were in the autorickshaw that had veered off and hit the judge.

Officer-in-charge of Jharkhand’s Pathardih Police Station, Umesh Manjhi, has also been suspended for not registering an FIR on time.

Meanwhile, taking suo motu cognisance of the alleged hit-and-run incident, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant had directed the Jharkhand Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to jointly submit a report in a week’s time on the status of the investigation into the incident.

The Jharkhand High Court, too, has set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.

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