“Feeding Questions To Get Specific Answer”: Jharkhand HC Rebukes Police In Judge Killing Case

The HC said that Jharkhand Police was “feeding questions” to get “a particular answer”, which is “not appreciated”.

The Jharkhand High Court Tuesday came down heavily on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged murder of Dhanbad judge Uttam Anand. The HC said that Jharkhand Police was “feeding questions” to get “a particular answer”, which is “not appreciated”.

The court, while hearing the case suo-motu, noted that the autopsy report says the death was “caused by hard and blunt substance due to head injury”. The court asked why police were asking if such injuries were possible due to a fall.

The Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan said: “We have perused the questionnaire framed by the Investigating Officer namely Mr Vinay Kumar… to Dr Kumar Shubhendu, Assistant Professor… SNMMC, Dhanbad: ‘Please explain whether the injuries in the head are possible by fall on road surface or not?’… When the Investigating Agency is investigating the occurrence in order to find out the reason of death, then how and under what circumstances such question is being asked by the Investigating Officer from the concerned doctor, that too when the CCTV footage clarifies the entire scene of occurrence?”

“(The) postmortem report clearly discloses that the fatal injury has been caused by a hard and blunt substance. Thereafter, it is for the Investigating Agency to find out the weapon of crime. Feeding a particular question to the doctor to get a particular answer is not at all appreciated.”

The HC also said that it did not receive any satisfactory answers from police.

The court said it was essential to unearth the “conspiracy” and catch the “mastermind” and that “apprehending a pawn” would not serve any purpose. “Time would be of essence in this investigation. Delay as well as any flaw in the investigation may eventually affect the trial adversely.”

The court, questioning the delay in registering the FIR, said it was “intriguing” that while the CCTV footage of the incident became “viral within 2 to 4 hours from the time of occurrence” and Judge Anand was taken to hospital around 5.30 am, the FIR was lodged “belatedly at 12.45 pm”, after a complaint by his wife. “The CCTV must be regularly monitored by police. The doctors of the hospital must also have informed police,” said the Bench.

The court also took note of the recommendation of CBI probe into the case, and said a notification by the agency was likely by Wednesday.

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