Advocate Dushyant Dave on Friday demanded an independent investigation monitored by the Supreme Court into special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s death. Dave, who is representing the Bombay Lawyers Association in the case, asked why Loya’s body was not handed over to his family, Live Law reported. A Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanvilkar and DY Chandrachud, were hearing the case.
Dave said that the investigative reported submitted by the state of Maharashtra is enough in itself to warrant an inquiry since it contained many “contradictions”, India Legal reported. He alleged that Loya’s body was taken to his village on the request of a cousin’s friend without the knowledge of his family, and that it was not taken to Bombay, where his family was living. However, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, denied that Loya’s body was handed over to a stranger.
When Loya died in December 2014, he was presiding over a special CBI court in Mumbai that was hearing a case about the extrajudicial murder by the Gujarat Police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh. BJP President Amit Shah was among the accused in the case. He was the home minister of Gujarat when the alleged fake encounter took place. In November, the Caravan magazine made some startling revelations that raised doubts on whether Loya’s death was natural.
Dushyant Dave on Friday also pointed to irregularities in medical bills, and asked why Loya was charged for “neuro surgery” when he was said to have been taken to the hospital for a heart attack. Rohatgi said this was because all attempts were made to revive the judge.
Lawyer Indira Jaising, also present in the court, said that there was overwriting in the report submitted by the state and alleged that all documents connected to the case were not submitted. Jaising has asked that all documents be submitted to the court.
The matter has been listed next for 2 pm on Monday, February 5.
Congress demands investigation
The Congress on Thursday had raised more questions about Loya’s death and demanded a special investigation team inquiry monitored by the Supreme Court. The party had raised questions about “unexplained deaths” of two of Loya’s friends, Loya’s post-mortem report, and on his security being withdrawn a week before his death.