'Inappropriate to speak without evidence': Jharkhand health minister cautions on Dhanbad judge's death

Banna Gupta, who is also the minister in-charge of Dhanbad district, said a probe would reveal if it was a pre-planned murder or an accident.
A screengrab from the CCTV footage (@Join_AmitSingh)
A screengrab from the CCTV footage (@Join_AmitSingh)
Published on Jul 29, 2021 05:29 PM IST
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By | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi

Jharkhand health minister Banna Gupta, who is also the minister in-charge of Dhanbad district, where a district judge died after being hit by a three-wheeler, on Thursday cautioned against anything being said without investigation or evidence. Gupta further said a probe would reveal whether it was a planned murder or an accident.

Also Read | Dhanbad judge dies in ‘road accident’, SIT to probe

"I had instructed the deputy commissioner and SSP of Dhanbad to constitute an SIT immediately in the matter and submit a report within seven days. I am the minister in-charge for the district, and saying anything without investigation and evidence is not appropriate," the minister said, according to news agency ANI. "I'm sure things will become clear after the investigation. A case of murder has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC. I would like to say the truth and reason behind the matter will be investigated and revealed. Whether it was pre-planned or accident, will be clear," Gupta further said.

The incident took place around 5am on Wednesday. Additional district and sessions judge Uttam Anand died after being hit from behind by an "unidentified vehicle" while out on a routine morning walk in what initially appeared as a "routine" accident. However, the emergence of a CCTV footage, in which the three-wheeler can be seen swerving from its path, hitting the judge, and fleeing from the spot, has led to a theory that the accident could, in fact, be "pre-planned."

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe the incident. Two people have been arrested till now, and the three-wheeler, an auto, has been seized from them, according to ANI.

The matter was also raised in the Supreme Court, where senior lawyer and former additional solicitor general Vikas Singh called it a "brazen attack on the judiciary" and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Singh was informed by the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, that the chief justice of the Jharkhand high court had already taken up the issue.

Also Read | Lens on Jharkhand judge's death as new clip emerges: SC lawyer seeks CBI probe

The deceased judge is reported to have recently dismissed the bail petition of an alleged contract killer from Uttar Pradesh, who is currently imprisoned in a Dhanbad jail. However, officials say it is "too early" to link the two developments.

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