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Charge sheet in Dhanbad judge’s death cites forensic reports, but CBI says probe still on

CBI says 'larger conspiracy behind judge's murder 'under probe'. HC says 'disappointed' with probe agency's progress and pace of investigation in the case.

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New Delhi: Two days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against two men for allegedly mowing down additional district judge Uttam Anand by an auto-rickshaw in Dhanbad on 28 July, the Jharkhand High Court said it was “disappointed” with the agency’s progress and pace of the investigation in the case.

The CBI took over the case from the Dhanbad Police in August but the investigators have not yet been able to establish the motive of the crime.

According to reports, the Jharkhand High Court observed that the investigation agency is working like “babus” in the secretariat.

The court has also asked the CBI Director to be present at the next hearing, scheduled on 29 October, through video conferencing.

The CBI Wednesday filed charge sheet filed against auto driver Lakhan Verma, 22, and his accomplice Rahul Verma, 21, under sections 302 (murder),201 (destruction of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

While according to CBI sources, the charge sheet was filed within 90 days of the arrest of the accused, as per protocols, so the accused are not eligible for bail, the court Friday asked the agency as to why it was not informed about it, knowing that the Jharkhand High Court is monitoring the case.

Speaking to ThePrint, Prabhat Kumar, brother-in-law of Uttam Anand said the CBI has not been able to present significant evidence in the case.

“The court has said that the progress of the case is unsatisfactory. The CBI keeps saying that they have significant leads but they have not given anything to the court yet and the investigation has not reached anywhere. We are still waiting,” he said.

Also read: Jharkhand SIT blames ‘sedative’, claims ‘no conspiracy’ in Dhanbad judge’s death

Case ‘still under investigation’

Although the charge sheet filed in the court contains four forensic reports as “evidence” to suggest that the two men killed the judge “intentionally”, it is still unclear if this killing was a part of a “larger conspiracy”. The CBI, till now, has not been able to gather evidence on who could be behind the alleged conspiracy.

According to sources in the CBI, the charge sheet says that the hit-and-run case was “intentional and not accidental”. However, it does not mention why the two men mow down the judge. The CBI in the charge sheet has mentioned that the case is “still under investigation” and the “larger conspiracy” behind the judge’s murder is “under probe”.

According to the source, apart from forensic reports, the Narco Analysis Test report has also been submitted, however, the matter is still under investigation.

Not the first time

This is not the first time that the court has pulled up the agency for its performance in the case.

On 2 September, the Jharkhand High Court expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of the probe.

The CBI took over the probe in August and was asked to file regular status reports in the matter.

The Supreme Court and the Jharkhand High Court took suo motu cognisance of the hit-and-run incident after CCTV footage showed the three-wheeler swerving on an empty road to knock the judge down.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Dhanbad judge’s death intentional, three-wheeler drivers deliberately hit him, CBI tells HC


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