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‘There is nothing in sealed cover,’ SC on CBI report on Jharkhand judge’s ‘murder’

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 9

Dissatisfied with the CBI’s sealed cover report having nothing substantial on the motive behind the alleged murder of Dhanbad District Judge, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice to monitor the case on a weekly basis.

“You have filed a report in a sealed cover. There is nothing in the sealed cover. Arrest and seizing of vehicles is done by the state (police). You people (CBI) have not indicated anything about intentionhellip;motivehellip; anything. We want something concrete,” a Bench led by chief Justice of India NV Ramana said after perusing the report.

On behalf of the CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said two persons had been arrested and they were under interrogation. “We can’t reveal anything now,” Mehta added.

The Bench ndash; which had initiated a suo motu PIL proceedings on judges’ safety in the wake of alleged murder of District and Sessions Judge-8 of Dhanbad Court, Uttam Anand, last month—asked the CBI to file weekly status reports on the progress in the probe before the Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice for monitoring.

Anand was out on morning walk when he was hit by a vehicle from behind near the district court, reports quoting the local police said. An auto-rickshaw driver took him to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. A purported CCTV footage of the incident suggested he was deliberately hit from behind.

The Supreme Court had on August 6 pulled up the CBI and the Intelligence Bureau for not properly responding to complaints with regard to harassment of judges who often receive threats in cases involving gangsters.

“There are several cases in the country which involve gangsters and where high profile people are accused. So judges are threatened mentally also by sending messages on WhatsApp, SMS. Complaints were made but the CBI has done nothing… No change in the CBI’s attitude… Sorry to observe that…,” it had said.

“It’s a new trend in this country. If an adverse order is passed, the judiciary is maligned. Unfortunately, there’s no freedom for a judge to complain. Even though judges complain to the police or the CBI they don’t respond. IB, CBI aren’t helping the judiciary at all. I’m making this statement with a sense of responsibility,” the CJI had said.

“Look at this unfortunate case of the death of a young judge. This is the state’s failure. This area has coal mafias and security should have been provided to the society and residences of judges,” the CJI noted.

“It’s time some strong measures are put in place,” Attorney General KK Venugopal had said, sharing the court’s concerns.

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