On 30th July 2021, Supreme Court took cognizance and registered a suo moto case for the purpose of ensuring the safety & security of Judges across India after the death of Jharkhand Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand after a vehicle smashed into him causing his death, while he was out for a morning walk.
The suo moto case registered was titled “Re: Safeguarding Courts and Protecting Judges (Death of ASJ Dhanbad)”. The Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was hearing some of the high-profile criminal’s cases and had rejected their bail which also includes the murder cases pending upon Ranjay Singh, who is an assistant of Jharia MLA Sanjeev Singh.
The FIR was registered by Jharkhand police on the basis of circumstantial evidence being recorded in the CCTV footage. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of 14 members was formed in order to investigate and two persons who were allegedly riding the auto-rikshaw at the time of the incident have already been arrested.
The case was listed before a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant who took cognizance of the incident and directed Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Jharkhand to submit the report within a week of the investigation going on into the demise of Judge Uttam Anand.
The President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Senior Advocate Vikas Singh asked for CBI Investigation and stated, “This is an attack on judicial independence, however, if Judiciary wants to be independent then Judges need to be safe.”
Furthermore, Supreme Court stated that the suo moto case will not affect the case before Jharkhand High Court, and thus the High Court can continue with its proceedings.