On July 28, The Dhanbad District and Sessions Court Judge Uttam Anand was out jogging when he was allegedly murdered by an auto rickshaw. CCTV footage of the incident showed and auto-rickshaw suddenly hitting Anand, who was jogging on an empty road. After which, the vehicle that hit Anand, drove away.
Ironically, the place where the incident happened is named after a senior police officer who himself was shot down in 1991 in order to prevent a bank robbery.
The Case was taken up by Central Bureau of Investigation on August 4, and was ordered by the Supreme Court to submit weekly reports regarding the progress of case to the Jharkhand High Court. During the hearing, the court also asked for details from the State Government about the security measures at Dhanbad Court and security provided to the Judges. The CBI informed the Court that it had taken custody of the accused auto rickshaw driver and his associate to recreate the crime scene.
The Judge went on a walk at around 5 am and the family got anxious when he didn’t return home until 7 am.
Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad raised a question that on August 19, the Judge was brought to the hospital at around 5:30 am and he died at 9 am, then why didn’t the hospital management reported the incident to the police? The police were informed about the incident at around 11:45 am. The judges also enquired about the actions that had been taken against the hospital authorities and the lack of responsibility showed by the Doctors who treated the Judge.
The judges said, “We have consider it very seriously that when the urine and blood testing facility of the accused is not available in the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) Ranchi, the capital of the state of Jharkhand, then for what purpose this department of state is functioning?” after the Forensic Science Laboratory in Ranchi did not have the facility to test the blood and urine samples of the accused. They even added: “Even after more than twenty years from the day of its creation, the State FSL Ranchi appears to be still in primitive stage.”
A petition has been filed by the Lawyer, Vishal Tiwari, on August 17, seeking directions to the Centre and all the State Governments to grant ‘X’ category security to all Judicial Officers.
The judges of the Uttam Anand Case also showed their concern towards the environment in which the judicial officers works and steps needed to be taken in order to provide them security and protection.