Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge murder: Convicts duo gets rigorous imprisonment till death

Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, who were convicted by a Sessions Court in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad last month for murdering Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment until death, defense lawyer Kumar Bimlendu said on Saturday.

A fine of Rs 30,000 has also been imposed on both the convicts. The sentencing came a year after Judge Anand was hit by an auto-rickshaw during his morning walk on July 28 last year, and he succumbed to head injuries later.

ASJ Rajni Kant Pathak held the two accused, Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, guilty under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and under 34 (common intention).

Defense Counsel Kumar Bimlendu said: “For IPC sections 302, 34, the convicts were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment until death, and Rs 20,000 fine, each. For IPC Section 201, the court sentenced 10 years of imprisonment and Rs 10,000, each. However, the detailed court judgment will be out on Tuesday.”

The prosecution had said that the motive of the crime was to snatch the victim’s mobile phone, and that it was a premeditated act that warranted a conviction under IPC Section 302. The defense had, however, pleaded that it was not an “intentional hit” and that it attracted only the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Jharkhand Police had conducted an initial investigation into the death and had arrested both the accused. The Jharkhand government had subsequently handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had re-registered the case and filed the charge sheet in October last year. The sessions court framed charges on February 2 this year, and after 35 hearings, completed the trial.

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