The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a Public Interest Litigation seeking an independent inquiry into the death of special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014.
Supreme Court lawyer Anita Shenoy on Thursday mentioned the petition for an urgent hearing before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ANI reported.
The Bombay Lawyers’ Association had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court on Monday, appealing for an investigation into Justice Loya’s death. The association asked the court to set up a commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai Police detained seven of nine activists who were protesting at the Bombay High Court premises to demand an investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the judge’s death. They were later released.
Before his death on December 1, 2014, Loya was presiding over a Special CBI court in Mumbai, where he was hearing the case of the alleged extra-judicial murder by Gujarat police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was one of the accused in the case. Shah was minister of state for home in Gujarat when the alleged fake encounter took place.
Loya had gone to Nagpur to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter on November 30, 2014, when he apparently fell ill suddenly and died of a heart attack. After Loya’s death, Judge MB Gosavi took over the case. By the end of December, Gosavi had dropped all charges against Amit Shah.
The case came back into headlines three years later in November, 2017 when some members of Loya’s family told the Caravan magazine that there were a number of inconsistencies in the account they had been given about the judge’s demise that gave them cause for suspicion – from the recorded time of death and the condition in which his body was returned to them to the way it was handled, as well as other circumstances.
Loya’s sister, Anuradha Biyani, also alleged that her brother said he had been offered a Rs 100-crore bribe by Mohit Shah, who was then chief justice of the Bombay High Court, to deliver a favourable judgment in the case involving Amit Shah.
While additional reporting by other media outlets, including Scroll.in, has filled up some of the gaps in the Caravan story, there are many questions that remain unanswered.
Some of those questions are summarised here:What we now know about the death of Special CBI judge Brijgopal Loya