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Jharkhand Judge Death Case Verdict Likely Today: What Is The Case | Explained
Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was on a morning walk on July 28, 2021, when an autorickshaw knocked him down near Randheer Prasad Verma Chowk in Dhanbad.
Ranchi: Exactly a year after Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was killed after he was mowed down by an autorickshaw, on an empty road in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, a sessions court is likely to pronounce its verdict on the alleged murder case on Thursday. The Jharkhand Police suspected that the incident was a premeditated hit-and-run case and named two Dhanbad residents– Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma– accused in the case. Both were booked under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), and 34 (common intention).
The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident and called it an “attack on judicial independence”.
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The Jharkhand government had later handed over the investigation of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had re-registered the case and filed the chargesheet in October last year. During the hearing of the case, the prosecution claimed that the motive of the crime was to snatch the victim’s mobile phone, and that it was a premeditated act that warranted a conviction under IPC Section 302. The sessions court completed the trial after 35 hearings and framed charges on February 2.
What Was The Case
ASJ Anand was on a morning walk on July 28, 2021, when an autorickshaw knocked him down near Randheer Prasad Verma Chowk in Dhanbad. He was rushed to the Dhanbad Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The autopsy report said death had occurred “due to injuries caused by hard and blunt substance” on the head.
The incident was initially considered a hit-and-run until a video surfaced, leading to a murder investigation. The video footage showed Anand being knocked down from behind by a vehicle. CCTV camera footage showed the autorickshaw veering towards him on an empty road, and the judge’s wife, Kriti Sinha, told police that “it appears the autorickshaw driver, in a pre-planned manner, hit him on his head which led to his death”.
The prosecution maintained in the court that the incident was pre-planned and the murder was committed to snatch the judge’s mobile phone. However, the defence lawyer Kumar Bimlendu said that the prosecution’s case has been murder centric, but the intention, has been “seriously missing” in the case.
The defence council said that accused Lakhan Verma, who was driving, and co-accused Rahul Verma had stolen an auto in the wee hours of July 28, 2021 and had taken off the registration plate. To avoid police vehicles, they took a detour to some place where they “drank intoxicating substance”and drove to Randheer Verma Chowk, when suddenly a stone came beneath a tyre, and the auto swerved towards the judge and hit him.
Lakhan Verma said he did not know then that the man was a judge and had not conspired or planned to hit him. Rahul Verma too denied the incident was pre-planned.
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