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Judge Uttam Anand Death- 'Court Wants A Speedy, Fair & Professional Probe': Jharkhand HC Seeks SIT Report On Aug 3

Sparsh Upadhyay
30 July 2021 5:46 PM GMT
Judge Uttam Anand Death-  Court Wants A Speedy, Fair & Professional Probe: Jharkhand HC Seeks SIT Report On Aug 3
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Taking suo moto cognizance of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Annand's Death, the Jharkhand High Court on Thursday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe into the incident, to submit its report on August 3.The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad observed thus:"We make it clear that this Court wants a speedy, fair, and professional investigation...

Taking suo moto cognizance of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Annand's Death, the Jharkhand High Court on Thursday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe into the incident, to submit its report on August 3.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad observed thus:

"We make it clear that this Court wants a speedy, fair, and professional investigation in the matter, as such, this Court will monitor the progress of the case and that is the reason we are posting this case on 03.08.2021 to look into the progress in the matter to come to the conclusion for the continuation of the investigation by the Special Investigating Team or to hand it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation"

The Division bench had taken suo motu cognizance of Judge Uttam Anand's death, who was hit by a three-wheeled vehicle in broad daylight on Wednesday on a letter received by the In-Charge Registrar General written by the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Dhanbad regarding this incident.

During the course of the hearing, the Court watched the CCTV footage of the incident and noted the submission of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Dhanbad that two persons have been apprehended.

Submissions made by the Bar

Importantly, the members of the Bar submitted before the Court since the incident related to the killing of a  judicial officer, the case shouldn't be taken as a simple case of accident or murder.

Further, it was added that the investigation into the incident was required to be conducted by the investigating agency on the angle that there may be a conspiracy for the killing of the judicial officer as, according to them, the judicial officer concerned was in the seisin of very sensitive matters.

Importantly, during the Court proceeding, Mr. Vikas Singh, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, also appeared in this case and said that the incident of murder of the judicial officer is nothing but an attack on the judicial system of the country and ultimately a brazen attack of our democratic system.

Singh earlier brought this incident to the attention of the Supreme Court and had who demanded a CBI probe. The Chief Justice of India had informed Vikas Singh that the Jharkhand High Court has taken up the case.

Probe by SIT

The Advocate General submitted that since the Special Investigating Team had been constituted and two vital persons have been apprehended, therefore, it wasn't necessary to transfer the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Director-General of Police, Jharkhand also submitted that a higher ranking police officer of the State would lead the Special Investigating Team and he suggested the name of Mr. Sanjay A. Lathkar, IPS, now ADG (Operation), Jharkhand.

Therefore, asking the SIT to take over the probe immediately, the Court remarked thus:

"...apprehending a pawn is meaningless unless the conspiracy is fully uncovered and the mastermind is nabbed. Time would be the essence of the matter in this investigation. Delay as well as any flaw in the investigation may eventually affect the trial adversely. We are directing the S.I.T. to submit a report on the next date of hearing."

The Court has also directed the Director-General of Police, Jharkhand to apprise the Court about the graph rate of the crime in the State of Jharkhand after January, 2020. 

Earlier today, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the killing of an Additional District Judge in Jharkhand, Uttam Anand, who was knocked down by a vehicle while on his morning jog at Dhanbad on July 28.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana directed the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police Jharkhand to submit a report on the status of inquiry in 1 week.

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