AILAJ Condemns The Brazen Murder Of District Judge Uttam Anand In Dhanbad And Demands Court-Monitored Probe

Image Courtesy: Telegraph

AILAJ is shocked at the tragic death of Justice Uttam Anand, Additional District and Session Judge (VIII) of Dhanbad on Wednesday morning caused by an autorickshaw deliberately ramming into the Judge as he was jogging on the pedestrian edge of the road.

This incident was caught on CCTV camera, and the video has become viral. In the video it is seen that the autorickshaw appears to deliberately move towards the Judge and rams into him, before fleeing the spot.The judge was rushed to the hospital by passers-by where he succumbed to his injuries. Tragically his body remained unidentified in the hospital for some time and it is only when the family members of the deceased Judge informed the police at around 7.00 a.m. that he had not yet returned home from his morning jog that a search was launched culminating in the identification of his body.

AILAJ extends its condolences to the family members of Justice Uttam Anand.

It is reported in various newspapers, that several high-profile criminal matters were pending in Justice Anand’s Court, including the murder case of one Ranjay Singh, close aide of Jharia MLA Sanjeev Singh. It is also reported that the Justice Anand had recently rejected the bail petitions of two members of Aman Singh’s gang, a notorious criminal of Uttar Pradesh.

It is pertinent to point out that the Supreme Court, in Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi v State of Gujarat [(1991) 4 SCC 406], held that an assault on a judicial officer affects judicial authority as well as the administration of justice in the entire country. it also affects the independence of the judiciary, which the Supreme Court in Madras Bar Association v. Union of India & Anr.[ 2021 SCC OnLine SC 463] held to be the “lifeblood of the judiciary”, and which depends freedom from influences and pressures. This incident highlights the need for protection of the subordinate judiciary against threats or attacks.

Indeed, the Supreme Court has most recently, in Somesh Chaurasia vs. State of M.P. & Anr. [Criminal Appeal Nos 590-591 of 2021, decided on 22.07.2021] has reiterated that an independent and impartial judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy and taken judicial notice of the appalling conditions amidst which Trial Judges.

It is welcome that the Jharkhand High Court has registered suo motu case in regard to the tragic death of Justice Uttam Anand. Considering the circumstances, it is imperative that the investigation and prosecution be Court-monitored till the end of the trial.

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