Thirty-two retired civil servants on Sunday appealed to the chief justice of India and the chief justice of the Bombay High Court to order a high-level investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014.

The signatories have cited the appeal made by former Navy Chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas who wrote to Chief Justice Dipak Misra seeking judicial inquiry, saying the “inaction” of the judiciary since the revelations were made has been “surprising”.

The signatories also cited requests made by retired Bombay High Court judge BH Marlapalle and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah. Besides, the Latur Bar Association, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former BJP leader Arun Shourie and and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have sought a probe.

Loya had died when he was hearing a matter related to the allegedly staged encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh – a case in which Amit Shah, now the Bharatiya Janata Party president, was an accused. Loya’s family has raised a number of questions about his death, as reported by the Caravan on November 20.

However, Loya’s son reportedly told the Bombay High Court that the family has no complaints or suspicions about the circumstances of his father’s death. Anuj Loya also claimed that the family had no suspicions about the integrity of the investigating agencies, and they are certain that his father died of a heart attack.

In his letter to Misra, Ramdas had said, “A judicial probe at this point, at least to respond to the queries raised by the family, and to uphold the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the people of India, is absolutely necessary.”

He said it was “critically important” to clear the suspicions, and a high-level inquiry should be set up “in the larger interests of the nation and its people, and above all [to uphold] the Constitution of India”.

Sunday’s letter was signed by 32 retired civil servants, including former ambassadors from the Indian Foreign Service, former secretaries to the government of India and a former chief information commissioner of a state.

Below are the names of the signatories:

  1.   SP Ambrose, IAS (Retd), former additional secretary, Ministry of Shipping and Transport
  2.   Ishrat Aziz, IFS (Retd), former ambassador to Brazil
  3.   G Balagopal, IAS (Retd), former resident representative, UNICEF, North Korea
  4.   Sundar Burra, IAS (Retd), former secretary, government of Maharashtra
  5.   Kalyani Chaudhuri, IAS (Retd), former additional chief secretary, government of West Bengal
  6.   Vibha Puri Das, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs
  7.   Keshav Desiraju, IAS (Retd), former health secretary
  8.   MG Devasahayam, IAS (Retd), former secretary to government of Haryana
  9.   Sushil Dubey, IFS (Retd), former ambassador to Sweden
  10.   KP Fabian, IFS (Retd), former ambassador to Italy
  11.   Meena Gupta, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests
  12.   Deepa Hari, IRS (Resigned)
  13.   Dr Sajjad Hassan, IAS (Retd), former commissioner (planning), government of Manipur
  14.   K John Koshy, IAS (Retd), former state chief information commissioner, West Bengal
  15.   Ajai Kumar, Indian Forest Service (Resigned), former director, Ministry of Agriculture
  16.   Arun Kumar, IAS (Retd), former chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
  17.   Harsh Mander, IAS (Retd.), Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
  18.   Aditi Mehta, IAS (Retd.), former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan
  19.   Sunil Mitra, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Ministry of Finance
  20.   Deb Mukharji, IFS (Retd), former ambassador to Nepal
  21.   Anup Mukerji, IAS (Retd), former chief secretary, government of Bihar
  22.   Alok Perti, IAS (Retd) former secretary, Ministry of Coal
  23.   NK Raghupathy, IAS (Retd), former chairman, Staff Selection Commission
  24.   Aruna Roy, IAS (Resigned)
  25.   Manab Roy, IAS (Retd), former additional chief secretary, government of West Bengal 
  26.   Umrao Salodia, IAS (Retd), former chairman, Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation
  27.   Deepak Sanan, IAS (Retd.), former principal adviser to the chief Minister of the government of Himachal Pradesh
  28.  EAS Sarma, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance
  29.   Dr NC Saxena, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Planning Commission, government of India
  30.   Ardhendu Sen, IAS (Retd), former chief secretary, government of West Bengal
  31.   Dr Raju Sharma, IAS (Retd), former member, Board of Revenue, government of Uttar Pradesh
  32.   Jawhar Sircar, IAS (Retd), former secretary, Ministry of Culture and chief executive officer, Prasar Bharati