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Dhanbad judge death case: CBI takes over investigation, forms 20-member SIT team

DHANBAD: After taking over the case of Dhanbad Judge Uttam Anand’s death, the CBI team from Delhi swung into action Thursday (August 5) to crack the issue that triggered nationwide outrage. The probe team of the premier investigative agency is headed by Additional Superintendent of police (ASP) Vijay Kumar Shukla. The CBI had on Wednesday taken over the investigation into the death of 49-year old judge who was allegedly mowed down by a heavy autorickshaw while he was on a morning jog on July 28 in Dhanbad.

A 20-member team has been sent by the CBI to probe the matter. Besides visiting the accident spot, six members of the team also reached Dhanbad sadar police station and discussed with senior police officers of the district who were involved in the probe as part of special Investigation team (SIT).

A senior police officer said besides Dhanbad sadar police station, the CBI team in different groups visited varied places associated with the tragic incident and questioned people in connection with the incident.

At sadar police station the CBI team took information from city superintendent of police R Ramkumar, additional superintendent of police Manoj Swargyari and police station officer in-charge Vinay Kumar. All these police officers were also members of SIT.

The 20-member team under ASP Shukla had reached Dhanbad on Wednesday and took over the case from Dhanbad senior superintendent of police (SSP) cum SIT member Sanjiv Kumar.

The team has started investigation after lodging FIR in Dhanbad sadar police station making auto driver Lakhan Verma and his accomplice Rahul Verma as accused under IPC Section 302. Both the accused are in jail after their five days police remand ended on Tuesday.

Anand was killed by a heavy autorickshaw on July 28 at Randhir Verma Chowk close to district court while he was on morning walk at around 5.30 am.

CBI received the Jharkhand government’s request, routed through the Centre, to investigate the matter.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had on last Saturday decided to hand over the probe into the hit-and-run case of the 49-year-old Dhanbad judge to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

CCTV footage showed that the judge was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk when a heavy auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled. Doctors at hospital declared him brought dead.

The bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad had directed the CBI to initiate a probe at the earliest. It had also directed the government to hand over all the documents of the case to the CBI.

Taking cognizance of a letter filed before the court by the Dhanbad principal district judge in the case, Justice Ranjan had converted it into a writ petition and ordered formation of an SIT headed by Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Latkar to look into the matter.

The bench, dissatisfied with the progress report, had questioned why there was a delay in registering an FIR in the case.

The incident occurred at 5.30 am, and the FIR was registered at 12.45 pm when it was clear from CCTV footage that the judge was picked up from the spot and taken to a hospital, the court had said.

The Jharkhand High Court had Tuesday pulled up the police for the manner in which it was investigating the death by unnecessarily “feeding question” to doctor about possibility of head injuries by fall on a road surface when the post-mortem report clearly stated that the death was due to the head injuries.

The court expressed its dismay over Special Investigating Team (SIT) ways of probing the matter while hearing a PIL on the issue the previous day.

The court said it posed questions to the investigating officer regarding the probe in the presence of the Director-General of Police and head of the Special Investigating Team (SIT).

The Supreme Court had on July 30 also taken suo motu cognizance of the “sad demise” of the Dhanbad judge.

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