The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has petitioned before the Jharkhand High Court informing a bench that it will seek the help of Interpol to crack the Dhanbad judge murder case.
The agency informed a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad on Friday that it has come across some digital evidence which need to be verified from the WhatsApp headquarters in the US.
The CBI has already shot a letter to the Union Home Ministry for its approval to take help from the Interpol, the court was informed.
In the course of proceedings, the bench was informed that WhatsApp chats have been gathered from the accused persons which indicate the involvement of more people in the conspiracy behind the death of Dhanbad district court judge Uttam Anand on July 28 last year.
A team of CBI sleuths will have to go to the headquarters of WhatsApp in the US and recover chat details to reach to the bottom of the conspiracy.
The court ordered the agency to furnish a status report in the matter and file an affidavit.
The case will be heard again on October 14.
Earlier, WhatsApp representatives had appeared before the Jharkhand High Court through Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal and assured the court of all cooperation in the investigation.
Last month, a special CBI court in Dhanbad had announced the quantum of punishment and sentenced an autorickshaw driver and another person to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of Anand.
Besides imprisonment till death, the bench slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on both convicts under IPC Section 302 (murder).
The CBI judge had also sentenced the duo to seven years in jail and imposed Rs 10,000 fine on each under IPC Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, giving false information to protect offender).
Both the sentences will run concurrently.
Anand was hit by a heavy autorickshaw on July 28 last year at Randhir Verma Chowk close to district court while he was jogging around 5.30 am. He died the same day.
CCTV camera footage showed that the judge was jogging on one side of a fairly wide road at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad when the three-wheeler veered towards him, hit him from behind and fled the scene.
An SIT was initially formed to probe the matter, but the Jharkhand government later handed over the case to the CBI.