SC seeks report over alleged killing of Jharkhand judge in a week

New Delhi (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday took suo motu cognisance of the alleged mowing down of Dhanbad Additional District Judge (ADJ) Uttam Anand, by an auto-rickshaw and sought a status report of investigation from the Jharkhand government through chief secretary and DGP within a week.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and justice Surya Kant said the case was widely reported by media and it was also brought to the notice of this court by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

SCBA president and senior advocate Vikas Singh on Thursday asked the top court to take suo moto cognizance of the alleged killing of Anand.

The bench took into consideration several instances in different parts of country, where judicial officers have been attacked along with lawyers appearing in cases.

The bench said: “It is the state duty to protect the judicial officers and legal fraternity who function fearlessly. It may require hearing of these larger issues. We thought to take up suo moto of such cases.”

The bench recorded in its order that it has recently come across several instances of attack on judicial officers and lawyers inside and outside the court premises, and it is essential to know the nature of incidents and steps taken by the government to protect the law officers. The bench emphasized that larger issues of safety and security of judicial officers in the country need to be addressed.

The bench directed the chief secretary and state Director General of Police (DGP) to submit a report in a week’s time on the status of the inquiry on the sad demise of the judge.

The top court clarified that it is not interfering in the ongoing proceedings before the high court. “These issues require larger consideration and detailed examination,” said the top court.

ADJ Anand was said to be handling cases in connection with gangsters. He was hit by an auto-rickshaw on his morning walk on Wednesday. Anand succumbed to the injuries at the hospital.

CCTV footage indicated that he was deliberately hit by the auto-rickshaw which was stolen on the previous night. The wife of deceased judge has reportedly lodged a murder case against unknown people.

The top court has listed the matter after one week.

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