The Judge Loya death case today witnessed another twist with the Supreme Court Supreme Court dismissing petitions seeking an independent probe into the matter.
The Judge Loya death case today witnessed another twist with the Supreme Court Supreme Court dismissing petitions seeking an independent probe into the matter. Brijgopal Harkishan Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and died of a heart attack in 2014 in Nagpur. In its verdict on the plea for a probe, the top court said that it saw no reason to doubt the statements of four judges on circumstances leading to the death of Loya. The apex court has asserted that documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that Loya’s death was due to “natural causes”.
The case has seen several ups and downs in the recent past with certain sections casting aspersions on the circumstances leading to the judge’s death. The case has also seen sharp political undertones with the opposition looking to corner BJP president Amit Shah over the death of the judge who was hearing the Sohrabuddin encounter case.
Here is the timeline of Loya death case:
Justice BH Loya died on December 1, 2014 in Nagpur. He passed away after suffering a heart attack. In November 2017, Caravan magazine had carried an article raising doubts over Loya’s death which was declared as natural, according to reports.
Subsequently, Loya’s son Anuj had reportedly written a letter on November 29, 2017 to the magazine and rejected the authenticity of the story. The magazine, however, claimed that the signature on the letter was not that of Anuj.
As the report by the magazine came out ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly Elections, held in December last, Opposition parties led by Congress and Left targetted Shah and BJP
Subsequently, a batch of petitions was filed in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court seeking a probe into Loya’s death. A PIL seeking probe into the judge’s death was also filed before the Bombay High Court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association. However, Justice Loya’s son Anuj had on January 14 said that the family did not want the probe.
In January, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud had taken note of the submission seeking an urgent hearing on the plea for a probe into Loya’s death on December 1, 2014. The plea was filed by Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone.
On January 16, the Maharashtra government had submitted key documents to the court. On the same day, the Nagpur Police told media that it had informed the Supreme Court about the case and claimed that there was no foul play.
On March 16, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud had reserved the judgement on the petitions.
On April 19, the Supreme Court order denied the plea for a probe into the death of Justice Loya, saying there was no reason to doubt the statements of the judges and that the judge did indeed die of natural causes. The court also came down heavily on the petitioners and said that vested interests were using PILs as a tool to settle political scores, a practice that would prove dangerous if allowed to continue.
The matter even reached the threshold of Rashtrapati Bhavan, when Congress president Rahul Gandhi had led a delegation Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) on February 10 to seek Supreme Court-monitored probe.
On February 27, Gandhi alleged that “the Sohrabuddin case claims yet another Judge”. “Justice Revati Dere, who challenged the CBI has been removed. Judge J T Utpat, asked Amit Shah to appear and was removed. Judge Loya asked tough questions. He died. #HowDidLoyaDie?” he posted on Twitter.