The Maharashtra government “appears to have withheld” from the court certain documents that could “demolish” the official version that Judge BH Loya died of a heart attack, claimed an intervention application filed in the Supreme Court on Monday. The court agreed to hear the application on March 8.
The application, filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, sought a court-monitored investigation by a “high-powered team” into Loya’s death. It cited opinions from a forensic expert and an eminent cardiologist to show that his death was not caused by a heart attack.
At the time of his death on December 1, 2014, the special Central Bureau of Investigation judge was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was an accused. Suspicions were raised on whether his death was natural, when The Caravan published a report with startling revelations in November 2017.
Meanwhile on Monday, a Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanvilkar and DY Chandrachud, resumed hearing petitions seeking a court-monitored independent investigation into Loya’s death. The intervention application by Centre for Public Interest Litigation sought for its member, advocate Prashant Bhushan, to intervene in the ongoing hearings with the arguments related to Loya’s medical reports.
Expert medical opinion
The application filed by CPIL on Monday cited another story by The Caravan, published on February 11, in which forensic expert RK Sharma studied Loya’s autopsy and histopathology reports and ruled out the heart attack. Sharma said the reports showed signs of trauma or even poisoning.
After the February 11 report, the CPIL also asked renowned cardiologist and former AIIMS professor Dr Upendra Kaul for his opinion. He said a heart attack seemed “most unlikely” from the medical reports.
The opinions of Sharma and Kaul “almost conclusively destroy the official version of Judge Loya dying of a heart attack”, CPIL’s application said, adding that the fact that the Maharashtra government withheld the two medical documents in its submission to the court assumed significance because of this.