Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 20 September 2021 11.36 PM IST

The judge's blatant assassination is a warning


The killing of Additional District Judge Uttam Anand in an auto-rickshaw accident during a morning walk in Dhanbad, where mining mafia rules the roost in Jharkhand, has shocked the entire nation. That is why the Jharkhand High Court and the Supreme Court immediately intervened and recommended for a high-level inquiry. The judge, who was on a usual morning walk, was hit by an autorickshaw that sped off from behind and passed by. The judge, who was lying on the road bleeding, was rushed to the hospital by passers-by. The body of the judge, who was lying unidentified, was identified a long time later. The CCTV footage revealed that the accident was not an accident but a deliberate homicide. The killer and his accomplice have been arrested.

The attack on a judge in Dhanbad, where criminal gangs are rampant, cannot be said to be accidental. It is not uncommon for mafias to stop law enforcers. There is also political support to crack down on law enforcers who do not submit to the mafia. The death of the district judge should be seen as an indication that the mafia has finally begun to intimidate the judiciary as well. Judge Uttam Anand, who was killed in Dhanbad, had last week ruled against them in a case involving local goons. The trial of two controversial murder cases is currently underway in his court. There are those who suspect that the criminal group intended to send a threatening message to the judiciary by removing the judge. Such matters will come out only after the investigation is completed. Supreme Court Judge Chandrachud recently referred to the various pressures faced by district judges. In Madhya Pradesh, the issue was the tragedy faced by a trial court judge who had ordered the arrest of the accused in a murder case involving the husband of a BSP MLA. The crisis was resolved when the judge informed the High Court about the threat to his life. There was also a strong warning from the Supreme Court that no one should think that the matter could be resolved by threatening the judiciary.

Not only in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, but everywhere in the country, the sentinels of justice are under constant pressure and mental strain. Influential and wealthy people often prepare to challenge court orders. Their attempt is to bring the legal system to their side just as they buy the law. A small version of this was seen at the Sultanbatheri court premises the other day. It was when defendants in the infamous tree felling case were arrested and produced in court that they challenged the legal system. The suspects were arrested when they came out of their hideout after coming to know about the death of their mother. Defendants were outraged by the condition put forth by the court that police should accompany them even when they attended the funeral. The court also clarified that the remanded accused could not be released without the police accompanying them. The accused had been arguing against it for a long time. It is arrogance to say that legal system should make way for them.

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