The Jharkhand High Court has taken Suo Motu cognizance of the killing of Judge Uttam Anand who died succumbing to his injuries after an auto-rickshaw rammed into him.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, 50, was killed on Wednesday morning when he was out for his morning walk near the magistrate colony. He was struck by an unidentified vehicle. The auto-rickshaw that struck him was allegedly stolen from Dhanbad and it was later found on Wednesday night in the neighboring Giridh district. CCTV footage showed that the auto-rickshaw deliberately rammed into the judge. The three-wheeler was seen suddenly swerving to the extreme left of the road and hitting the judge before running away. Later, A public transport driver discovered the judge lying in a pool of blood and transported him to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The auto-rickshaw that killed District Judge Uttam Anand has been seized by Dhanbad police, and two people Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Verma who were allegedly riding it have been arrested.

According to reports, the judge passed 36 orders in July of cases involving alleged sexual harassment, alleged diversion of scholarships meant for minority students, etc. Out of these 36 orders, 6 bails have been granted and the rest have been rejected, of which bail request of a suspected contract killer from Uttar Pradesh captured in Dhanbad jail in connection with a high-profile murder case was also denied. Officials, though, claimed it was too soon to connect the order to this case. Advocate Vikas Singh, President of Supreme Court Association said it is a brazen attack on the independence of the judiciary. He has sought a CBI inquiry into this matter.

Jharkhand Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan said that it looks like the Additional District & Sessions Judge was murdered intentionally. The police have detained the two passengers riding the vehicle and have also recovered the auto-rickshaw. A 14-member Special Investigations Team (SIT) has also been constituted to look into the incident.


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