We Want To Address The Larger Issue Of Safety And Security Of Judicial Officers, Says CJI NV Ramana Taking Congnizance Of Dhanbad Judge Assassination Case
Supreme Court today took suo moto cognizance of allegedly mowing down of Dhanbad ADJ Uttam Anand by an Autorickshaw, seeking Status Report of investigation from Jharkhand Government.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant, while hearing the matter today, said,
“We have come across several instances of attacks on judicial officers and lawyers inside and outside the court premises and we, therefore, want to address the larger issue of safety and security of judicial officers in the country.”
The bench noted that it is the inherent duty of every State to protect judicial officers and lawyers to let them function independently and fearlessly while endeavoring to dispense justice.
The Chief Justice also expressed an inclination to issue notice to all states on the next date of hearing.
While allowing the Jharkhand High Court to continue its monitoring of the alleged killing, directions have been issued to the DGP Jharkhand to provide the status of investigation regarding the alleged murder of Judge, Uttam Anand by next week.
The Court has also asked the Chief Secretary and DGP of the State to give details of the law and order situation inside and outside the court premises in Jharkhand.
Yesterday, Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan of the Jharkhand High Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident and issued orders asking the SSP, Dhanbad for an expeditious investigation into the same.
The High Court had also added that in case it found the investigation by the police unsatisfactory, it would hand over the matter to the CBI.
SCBA President and Senior Advocate Vikas Singh had also flagged the issue before the benches led by CJI NV Ramana as well as Justice DY Chandrachud requesting the court to take cognizance and directing a CBI probe into the same.
“It is a brazen attack on the judiciary. There is even CCTV footage which should be taken up,” said Singh.
Declining Senior Advocate's request the CJI informed him that the Jharkhand High Court had already taken suo moto cognizance of the same.
The judge was killed in Dhanbad city of Jharkhand after being hit by an autorickshaw while he was on a morning walk.
CCTV footage of the incident surfaced suggesting that the autorickshaw hit the judge from the back and fled from the spot.
The judge was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Case Title: In Re: Safeguarding Courts and Protecting Judges (Death of Additional Sessions Judge, Dhanbad)| SMW (Crl) No 2/2021