The death of a district and sessions court judge in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand in a hit-and-run incident on Wednesday has provoked outrage nationwide.
Uttam Anand was district and sessions judge-8 of the Dhanbad court. He was out on his morning walk when a vehicle hit him around the Randhir Verma Chowk near the district court in the Sadar police station area around 5am.
Anand was rushed to a hospital but died of his injuries.
Examination of CCTV footage showed that a four-wheeler deliberately hit the judge, who was walking on the edge of the road.
A police complaint was filed by the registrar of the Dhanbad civil court following which an FIR was lodged. The Telegraph reported that Anand was hearing a case related to an aide of BJP MLA from Jharia, Sanjeev Singh, who had been arrested in 2017 for the murder of the deputy mayor of Dhanbad.
Anand was also dealing with the bail application of a gangster based in Uttar Pradesh.
On Thursday, Ravi Ranjan, chief justice of the Jharkhand High Court, took suo motu cognizance of the death of Anand. Ranjan ordered the SSP of Dhanbad to remain present in the court on Thursday.
The Supreme Court Bar Association mentioned the death of Anand in the Supreme Court on Thursday. SCBA president Vikas Singh described the matter as a “brazen attack on judiciary”. Vikas Singh was quoted by Live Law as arguing that the Supreme Court order a CBI probe into the matter. Vikas Singh was quoted by NDTV as saying, “It is a brazen attack on judiciary. This is a matter which should go to the CBI. The local police is 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.”
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, before whom Vikas Singh made the petition, stated he would mention the matter to Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana. Ramana was quoted by NDTV as saying, “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.”