The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: A shocking silence hangs over allegations about the death of Sohrabuddin case judge

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Justice in crisis

What sounds like a topic more relevant for prime-time television debates and press conferences by Opposition parties: a slightly offensive cartoon betraying the elitism of a political party or a Bollywood movie about a fictional queen? Or perhaps the claims made by the family of a judge presiding over a case involving the president of India’s ruling party about the mysterious circumstances of his death and allegations of corruption in the judiciary?

The reports on these allegations published by The Caravan on Monday and Tuesday raised enough questions to have swamped the news cycle. The articles are based on the statements of the family of Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, a judge presiding over the Mumbai special Central Bureau of Investigation court that was hearing the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Sohrabuddin Sheikh, a wanted criminal from Gujarat, was allegedly killed by the police in a staged incident in 2005. The CBI claimed that the officials responsible for the conspiracy to murder Sheikh included Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, who was then home minister of Gujarat.

Loya was transferred to the CBI court in the latter half of 2014 after a previous judge had moved out, right after he had demanded that Amit Shah turn up in court rather than constantly asking for exemptions. Loya himself had initially allowed Shah not to show up. But when the BJP leader was in Mumbai not far from the court and still did not appear, Loya on October 31, 2014, asked why Shah was not in court, and set the next date for December 15, 2014. On December 1, Loya was dead. His family was told that he had suffered a heart attack while travelling for a wedding.

His family has alleged in The Caravan article that the circumstances of his death were murky, though they claim that they were told at the time not to make their concerns public. They mention many details that have given them cause for suspicion, from the time of death to the condition of Loya’s body to the fact that his mobile phone was returned to them two days later by a worker from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Caravan has even posted videos of the family making charges of corruption against a senior member of the judiciary. According to The Caravan, the family asked for an inquiry commission to investigate Loya’s death, but nothing came of this.

This is explosive material and, at the least, requires further investigation from others in the media as well as demands for accountability from other political parties. The details here are directly connected to the very nature of the case: that the state machinery was allegedly misused to ensure favourable political outcomes.

It is true that there are many questions about the matter that are yet to be answered, but the blanks can be filled in only if the matter is investigated by the media and if politicians demand accountability. Some parties, like the Congress, may be fearful of an issue like this playing havoc with their electioneering plans for Gujarat. But that is no excuse and it certainly doesn’t explain why the Left and other parties have not picked up the issue.

Most of the media has also been silent on the charges, perhaps out of fear of taking on the politician some believe to be the second-most powerful man in the country. Failing to consider the allegations of Loya’s family will be to succumb to the atmosphere of fear that the BJP administration has sought to create in its attempt to ensure that no individual or organisation questions its official narrative.

Subscribe to “The Daily Fix” by either downloading Scroll’s Android app or opting for it to be delivered to your mailbox. For the rest of the day’s headlines do click here.

If you have any concerns about our coverage of particular issues, please write to the Readers’ Editor at readerseditor@scroll.in

Punditry

  1.   Rahul Gandhi’s biggest challenge will be to retrieve the can-do spirit for the Congress, says Smita Gupta in The Hindu. 
  2. Soli Sorabjee on the importance of a recent Supreme Court verdict against the movie ‘An Insignificant Man’ to freedom of expression. 
  3.   Following a fiscal deficit target irrespective of circumstances could have an adverse impact on developmental expenditure, Ranjani Sinha argues in the Mint. 

Giggles

Don’t miss

T A Ameerudheen on why Kerala’s schools and colleges have few Dalit teachers.

“Kerala reserves 10% government jobs for Dalits. As a result, 298 of the 2,335 teachers in government-run colleges are Dalit. But privately run educational institutions are not required to follow the reservation policy even though the government pays their teachers’ salaries as well as grants for maintenance. The state has 238 Arts and Science colleges, of which just 58 are state-owned. Of the rest, 120 are managed by Christian and Muslim organisations and 60 by the Nair Service Society, Sree Nararyana Trust and the Devaswom Board. While the society represents upper caste Hindu Nairs, the trust represents the backward Hindu Ezhava community. The Board is a government body that manages the state’s temples.” 

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900

Fashion

If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.