Dhanbad judge was hit intentionally, CBI tells Jharkhand high court

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The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday informed the Jharkhand high court that Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand, who died in a hit-and-run case, was hit intentionally by the auto rickshaw driver.

Uttam Anand, the District and Sessions Judge-8 of Dhanbad court, was on a morning walk on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad early on July 28 when a heavy auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene. He was declared dead by the hospital.

Central Bureau of Investigation joint director Sharad Agarwal appeared before the division bench of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad online and said that the death of the judge is not an accident. However, the theory of conspiracy behind the death needs to be investigated, he added.

The bench observed that the death of a judge is the first of its kind in the country and has shaken the morale of the judiciary.

Time is the essence of this investigation and the more time is spent, harder it will be to ascertain the truth, the judges said.

The CBI officer said that the agency has put its officers on the job who are working round the clock to uncover the truth behind the incident.

Agarwal further informed the court that the auto rickshaw driver Lakhan Sharma is a habitual offender and has earlier committed mobile thefts. He has been shifting from his statements and the CBI is doing everything to reach to the depth of the matter.

The police had taken up the investigation with the Dhanbad SSP and DGP assuring the court of a speedy inquiry. However, the government later decided to recommend the investigation to the CBI and proposed the case to be taken up by the agency.

The CBI then took up the matter on August 4 and is trying to link the dots together but has not achieved any major breakthrough as yet. The high court has been monitoring the investigation done by the CBI. The agency has been submitting sealed reports to the court on the stage of investigation done in the case.

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