“I hope that the culprit is caught"
The Chief Justice of India is calling for an “urgent” investigation’ into the murder of an Indian judge.
Judge Uttam Anand died on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, after an autorickshaw driver hit him on his morning run.
He was found by a passer-by just half a kilometre from his Dhanbad home.
The death was initially branded a hit-and-run. However, recently released CCTV footage suggests that the driver “deliberately” hit him.
The footage shows the autorickshaw swerving to hit Judge Anand, before immediately fleeing the scene.
India Today journalist Nalini Sharma shared the footage on Twitter on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Watch the Footage. Warning – Distressing Images
Additional District & Sessions Judge, Dhanbad Uttam Anand gets run over during his morning walk under suspicious circumstances. The judge was dealing with a few high-profile murder cases from the area and had recently rejected bail petitions of a few criminals. TRIGGER WARNING pic.twitter.com/FFia9usXQc
— Nalini (@nalinisharma_) July 28, 2021
The passer-by who found Judge Anand took him to the hospital. However, he died of his injuries.
Anand’s family first registered a missing person case when he did not come home after his run.
After the police located him and declared him dead, they registered a hit-and-run case.
However, since the release of the CCTV footage, the police are treating it as a murder case.
Prior to his death, Judge Anand was handling high-profile cases of mafia killings in Jharkhand. He also recently rejected the bail pleas of two gangsters.
Therefore, the possibility of Anand being targeted is not being ruled out.
The Chief Justice of India has called for an “urgent investigation” into the judge’s death.
According to police, the autorickshaw that killed Judge Anand was stolen an hour before the incident.
The police have two people – the autorickshaw driver Lakhan Kumar Verma and his associate Rahul Verma – under arrest so far in the case.
According to Inspector General Amol Vinukant Homkar, the autorickshaw has been seized and the pair “have confessed” to the crime.
However, several judges and lawyers do not believe the CCTV footage of Judge Anand’s death is authentic.
They claim that the footage was abnormal, and recorded “deliberately for circulation”.
According to LiveLaw, the Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh said the CCTV footage was not genuine.
Speaking of the footage, Singh said:
“This is very brazen. They want to record it and circulate it.
“It’s not just any CCTV camera because you can hear voices while that is being recorded.”
He also pointed out to the Supreme Court that “a person was seen zooming the visuals as if to ascertain if the judge was killed and it was shocking”.
Despite the judge’s death now being a murder investigation, Judge Anand’s family claim the police delayed changing the case from an ‘accident’ to ‘murder’.
The Jharkhand High Court branded this accusation as offensive.
Judge Anand’s family are desperate for justice. His father, Sadanand Prasad, told the media:
“I hope that the culprit is caught and punished at the earliest.”