The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has changed the team probing the death of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand, officials said on Saturday.
The development came after the Jharkhand High Court recently slammed the agency for its “laxity” in probing the murder, and observed that it seemed that the CBI was trying to quit the investigation and even protect the accused.
The officials said the team will now be headed by Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikas Kumar, posted at the agency’s Special Crime Unit in Delhi. He has already taken over from VK Shukla.
The new team has already reached Dhanbad where they sought the court’s permission to question two accused, Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, who have been chargesheeted and are being held in the district prison, they said.
The high court had ordered the CBI to produce reports of the narco test conducted on the arrested two accused. There is a greater conspiracy and that should be unearthed, it had said.
The CBI had filed its charge sheet in October last year against auto-rickshaw driver Lakhan Verma and his accomplice Rahul Verma under IPC sections related to murder (302) and destruction of evidence (201) besides common intention (34), the officials said.
The central agency had kept the probe open in the case, they said. The 49-year-old judge was allegedly mowed down by the autorickshaw while he was on a morning jog on July 28 last year in Dhanbad.
CCTV camera footage showed that Anand was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad when the auto-rickshaw veered towards him, hit him from behind, and fled the scene, killing him.
The case was handed over to the CBI by the Jharkhand government.
The agency had taken over two more FIRs — related to the theft of mobile phones and auto-rickshaw used in the crime — from Jharkhand police in order to unravel alleged conspiracy in the murder of the judge, they said.
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