A fine of Rs 30,000 has also been imposed on both convicts.
The sentencing came a year after Judge Anand was hit by an auto-rickshaw during his morning walk, and succumbed to head injuries later.
During trial, 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 defence, on the other hand, had pleaded that it was not an “intentional hit” and that it attracted only the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
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After the verdict, Defence Counsel Kumar Bimlendu told The Indian Express: “The judge pronounced both the accused guilty of murder. The court took into account the statement of only eye-witness Sharavan Kumar had deposed that the auto knowingly steered towards the judge and hit him leading to his death. The court also relied upon the CFSL report which had stated that both the accused were not under intoxication during the act.”
The Jharkhand Police had charged Lakhan Verma and Rahul Verma, residents of Digwadih in Dhanbad, under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), and 34 (common intention). The police had suspected the accident to be a premeditated hit-and-run.