Anuj Loya, the son of special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya who died in 2014, on Sunday said there was nothing controversial about his father’s death.
When he died on December 1, 2014, Justice Loya was presiding over a special CBI court in Mumbai, hearing the case of the alleged extrajudicial murder by the Gujarat Police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, who was the home minister of Gujarat when the alleged fake encounter took place, was one of the accused in the case.
“Our family is pained with the chain of events in past few days,” Anuj Loya told reporters at a press conference in Mumbai. “We don’t have any allegation to make against anyone, we are really pained... we are trying to get out of this thing. I request you people to please don’t try to harass us or trouble us.”
When asked about the doubts raised by the family, he said, “My grandfather and aunt had doubts earlier but not now. They will not speak to anyone. We are being harassed but I don’t want to name anyone.”
This is not the first time Anuj Loya has denied any controversy. On November 29, he had told Bombay High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur that the family has no complaints or suspicions about the circumstances of his father’s death.
Lawyer Ameet Naik reiterated Loya’s view at the press conference on Sunday. “No need of politicising the issue,” said Naik. “This is a tragic event. We do not want to be victims of politicisation of the issue. Let it remain the way it is, non-controversial.”
A family friend, who was also present at the press meet, said some people have created doubt and were harassing the family. “Anuj is studying law and many people visiting house and disturbing his studies,” he said. “On his behalf I am requesting being family friend of Loya not to harass family. The media is a powerful thing...Let the family live in peace... the family is suffering for three years.”
On Friday, the Supreme Court had asked the Maharashtra government to submit the autopsy report of Loya. The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by a journalist from Maharashtra, seeking an independent inquiry into Justice Loya’s death. The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, has scheduled the next hearing on Monday.
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 Sohrabuddin case. A few weeks later, Gosavi had dropped all charges against Shah.
The case came back into headlines 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, and 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 the chief justice of the Bombay High Court, to deliver a favourable judgment in the case involving Amit Shah.