Probing the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, the CBI has sought the prosecution of two men who it claims knocked him down with an autorickshaw while he was on a morning walk in July this year.
The CBI, which filed a chargesheet in a Dhanbad court on October 20, claimed that one of the two accused, “Rahul Kumar Verma is a professional thief who keeps looking for vulnerable targets”, that he and his alleged accomplice Lakhan Verma had been “looking for a chance to execute the plan”. But it is silent on “the plan”. Nor does it spell out any motive for the crime.
The CBI — cognizance has been taken after the filing of the chargesheet — stated that “deliberate” and “intentional” “ramming” caused “severe bodily injuries” which were “sufficient” in the “ordinary course of nature” to cause the death of the ASJ.
“…after stealing the autorickshaw, both accused drove the auto towards Baliyapur where the number plate of the stolen autorickshaw was removed from rear and the number written on the front side was rubbed to hide the identity of the autorickshaw… Both continued to roam in the isolated area for quite some time and then they left,” the CBI said.
In the morning, “while both the accused were in the autorickshaw and going toward Giridih via Randhir Verma Chowk, the auto hit the deceased judge at 5.08.30 am. Rahul Kumar Verma is a professional thief who keeps looking for vulnerable targets and also takes money in advance to steal the articles for his friends,” the CBI said.
ASJ Anand was taking a morning walk shortly after 5 am on July 28 when an autorickshaw — it was captured on CCTV veering towards him on an empty road — knocked him down. He succumbed to injuries around 9 am. The Dhanbad police conducted an investigation and arrested two accused, both residents of Dhanbad. Police later handed charge of the investigation to the CBI which re-registered a case.
The CBI said the Crime Scene Forensic Profiling, based on CCTV clips, was done by experts of the Directorate of Forensic Science, Gandhinagar.
“Judge Uttam Anand was casually jogging which implied he was not fearful of anyone. The autorickshaw driver has closely followed Uttam Anand which indicates that the driver along with another person were chasing and looking for a chance to execute the plan. After the hit, the driver did not slow down the speed nor he stopped the autorickshaw to see the physical condition of the victim, which is otherwise a normal human reflex action of the driver after hitting the person. Therefore, it appears the autorickshaw driver had targeted Uttam Anand,” the CBI said, quoting the experts.
“After hitting, the autorickshaw goes straight wherein the cyclist comes in between, the autorickshaw driver slightly moves the rickshaw and overtakes the cyclist without hitting him. Thus, it appears that the autorickshaw driver was in a good psychological state of mind wherein he was able to control his vehicle with reference to speed, alignment, brakes etc. He was in a healthy state of mind, wherein he saved the cyclist from mishap… Thus, this incident seems to be planned and intentional. It does not appear to be an accident,” the CBI said.
Dr Harish Pathak, Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, KEM Hospital, Mumbai, and his team, according to the CBI, said: “…the injury in the left skull has probably been caused by yellow dented edge of the autorickshaw… and the same (singularly or collectively) is sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature. Injury sustained on the right-side skull has probably been caused by the impact of hitting the ground after being hit by the autorickshaw at a speed of 23 km/hour and the same (singularly or collective) is sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature.”
Dr Pathak and his team, the CBI said, were of the opinion that the hit-and-run incident was not accidental, but intentional.
The two accused, the agency said, were subjected to Forensic Psychological Assessment, Forensic Statement Analysis, Polygraph Test, Layered Voice Analysis by experts of CFSL Delhi after obtaining permission from the court.
The responses of Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, the CBI claimed, were found to be “deceptive in most of the issues which indicates their active involvement in the crime under investigation”.