Murder of Dhanbad judge: 2 including car driver sentenced to life in CBI court

A special CBI court in Jharkhand on Saturday sentenced a rickshaw driver and another person to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of a Dhanbad court judge last year.

On July 28, CBI Tribunal Judge Rajnikant Pathak found rickshaw driver Lakhan Verma and his associate Rahul Verma guilty of the murder of 49-year-old Judge Uttam Anand. The quantum of sentence was pronounced on Saturday.

Besides imprisonment until death, the bench imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the two convicted under IPC 302 (murder).

The CBI judge also sentenced the duo to seven years in prison and fined Rs 10,000 each under Article 201 of the ICC (causing the disappearance of evidence of offence, giving false information to protect the offender).

Both sentences will be executed simultaneously.

Anand was hit by a heavy autorickshaw on July 28 last year at Randhir Verma Chowk near the District Court while taking his morning jog around 5.30am. He died the same day.

Calling the killing of a judge the rarest crime, CBI attorney Amit Jindal called for the death penalty for both. He also maintained that they committed the crime intentionally.

Defense attorney Kumar Bimelendu told reporters that the judge’s death was accidental and that the CBI “concocted the murder theory”. The verdict will be challenged in a higher court.

The trial in the murder case began in February. The court recorded the statements of 58 witnesses during the hearing.

CCTV footage showed the judge was jogging down one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad when the three-wheeler veered towards him, hit him from behind and sped away .

An SIT was initially formed to investigate the matter, but the Jharkhand government later handed the matter over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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