A special CBI court in Dhanbad on Saturday sentenced the duo to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand. The CBI court had on July 28 convicted autorickshaw driver Lakhan Verma and his accomplice Rahul Verma in the case of Anand’s murder. The sentence comes a year after the judge was knocked down during a morning jog on a deserted road in Dhanbad. Caught on CCTV.
Defense lawyer Kumar Bimalendu said, “Both the accused were convicted on July 28 and were sentenced today. The judge called it the ‘rarest of rare cases’ and instead sentenced him to life in prison.
CBI court judge Rajinikanth Pathak convicted Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (disappearance of evidence of crime, giving false information for the defense of an offender) and 34 (common intention) in the Anand murder case.
CBI Additional Public Prosecutor Amit Jindal had said that the court found that both the accused were not intoxicated. The court also ruled that it was a case of deliberate murder, Jindal said.
The trial of the murder case began in February and during the hearing the court recorded the statements of 58 witnesses.
The judge’s death sent shockwaves across the country as CCTV camera footage showed that Anand was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad when a three-wheeler swerved towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene. He died that morning.
As the case made national headlines, an SIT was initially set up to investigate the case, but the Jharkhand government later handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Supreme Court took personal notice of the judge’s “sad demise” and sought a status report on the matter from the Jharkhand chief secretary and DGP.
Meanwhile, advocate Kumar Bimalendu while talking to the media had said that “the CBI came up with the theory of murder”. Lakhan and Rahul will challenge this decision in the High Court, he said.
(with inputs from PTI)
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