An Additional District Judge (ADJ) of the Dhanbad district died after being hit by a tempo while he was out for a morning walk. ADJ Uttam Anand death was initially believed to be a hit-and-run case. However, CCTV footage has now raised doubts about whether he was killed.
The CCTV footage shows the three-wheeler — referred to as a ‘tempo’ in this region — suddenly swerving to the extreme left edge of the road, ramming the judge and speeding away.
As the matter was raised in the Supreme Court today, Chief Justice NV Ramana said he had spoken with the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. “The high court chief justice has taken up the issue and the case is now on at the High Court. We are aware of the case and we will take care,” Justice Ramana said.
The driver of the vehicle has been arrested along with an associate. The tempo has been seized. Police said that investigations have revealed the vehicle was stolen just a few hours before the incident.
ADJ Uttam was posted in Dhanbad six months ago. He had gone for a morning walk at 5 AM on a deserted stretch of the road when a vehicle crushed him near Magistrate Colony in Dhanbad. He was found lying on the road, bleeding, by a man who took him to hospital. He was admitted to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Initially, the police treated him as an unknown person. However, later on, the family members approached the police following which the body was identified.
Meanwhile, a special investigation team (SIT) has been constituted to investigate the death of a judge.
“I have constituted an SIT led by the city SP who will look into all possible reasons. The CCTV footage and all related aspects would be analysed and identify the vehicle. We have respected the victim’s family members to file a complaint and we will register an FIR,” said Dhanbad senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sanjeev Kumar.
They had been handling many cases of mafia killings in Dhanbad town. He reported having recently rejected the bail plea of an alleged contract killer from Uttar Pradesh, who is in Dhanbad jail in a high-profile murder case. Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Dhanbad, Raj Sinha termed the incident ‘unfortunate’ and demanded a CBI inquiry into the case. He also alleged that criminal activities have increased under the present Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led coalition government in Jharkhand.
“This a very unfortunate incident. But on watching the video, it appears that it was a pre-planned incident. There should be a CBI inquiry into this matter. Such an incident has not come to the fore in Dhanbad before. Criminal incidents have increased across Jharkhand. The fear of law among criminals has decreased,” said the BJP MLA.