The Supreme Court on Thursday was not inclined to interfere in the issue pertaining to the alleged killing of Dhanbad Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand. Judge Anand was hit by a three-wheeler while he was on his morning walk on Wednesday less than 500 mts from his house in Hirapur.
A news report in The Telegraph states that CCTV footage showing the autorickshaw intentionally swerving to hit the judge has raised suspicions over his death. Judge Anand was handling several high-profile cases and had recently denied bail to two alleged members of a gang.
"We are aware and overwhelmed and initiative taken by SCBA. We appreciate your steps. I spoke to the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court, he has taken up the case and all officers are asked to be present. Now leave it there. If we involve at this stage the probe will be hindered," Chief Justice of India NV Ramana told senior advocate Vikas Singh who mentioned the matter in the Supreme Court demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"This needs to be handed over the CBI. If someone is killed for rejecting the bail of a gangster. I will go to the high court," Singh said. "Don't jump to conclusions, we are aware of it. Let the HC look at it," CJI Ramana responded.
Brazen Attack on Judicial independence
Singh, who is also the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), had first mentioned the matter before the bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud. "It is shocking. A judge is on his morning walk and is hit by a vehicle. He was dealing with bail applications of gangsters. This is an attack on judicial independence my lord," Singh said.
"This case is for the CBI. Local police are usually complicit in such matters. It is shocking. A judge is on a morning walk and is hit by a vehicle. He was dealing with bail applications of gangsters. This is an attack on judicial independence my lord," he added.
To which, Justice Chandrachud advised Singh to mention the matter before CJI Ramana. When he mentioned the matter before CJI Ramana, Singh stressed that "This needs to be handed over the CBI if someone is killed for rejecting bail of gangster".
When the CJI showed disinclination to take up the issue, Singh said he would see the proceedings in the Jharkhand high court and take stock of the matter.
Jharkhand High Court takes suo motu cognizance
Jharkhand Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan took suo motu cognizance of the issue and directed the SSP and other police officials to remain present in court today. "The Chief Justice asked the DGP and SP Dhanbad several questions about the incident and said the investigation must be thorough and professional, advocate Rajendra Krishna told BOOM.
Krishna, the chairman of the Jharkhand State Bar Council, was present in the morning proceedings today. It is too early to make assumption of any kind. But after seeing the video which has gone viral, it doesn't appear to be a simple hit and run," Krishna said.
Krishna stressed that if the hit was intentional, it would be the "blackest day for judicial independence." If the hit was ordered simply because the judge rejected bail pleas, then Jharkhand's law and order is completely lost.
"The judge was assigned a bodyguard, but morning walk pe kaun leke jaata hai (who takes a bodyguard for a morning walk). Aakhir main who bhi toh insaan hai (afterall, the judge is also human)," Krishna said. "I don't take security, but if this is the situation, we will not do any matters at all," he added.
Updated On: 2021-07-29T19:15:18+05:30