The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions that sought an independent inquiry into the death of Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud ruled that there was no merit in the writ petitions and said the judge’s death was natural.
At the time of his death on December 1, 2014, Judge Loya was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, in which Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was an accused. Suspicions were raised on whether Loya’s death was natural after The Caravan published a report in November 2017, where Loya’s family said the circumstances of his death were suspicious and that he had been under pressure to deliver a favourable judgment. There were immediate demands for the Supreme Court to treat these questions seriously.
The Maharashtra government had argued before the Supreme Court that the demand for an inquiry into Loya’s death was not to protect the integrity of the judiciary, but to “keep the pot boiling” by “targeting one individual”, a reference to Shah.
Here are eight articles that examine the Loya case.
- New reports tell us more about Sohrabuddin judge’s death – and bring up fresh questions: At the time a number of questions came up, such as what was the time of Loya’s death, what his ECG report indicated, how his body made its way to Latur and more. Some of those were answered, others led to more questions
- Tracking CBI judge Brijgopal Loya’s last journey from Nagpur to Latur: Was foul play responsible for the death of the judge presiding over a trial involving BJP president Amit Shah? Reporting from Maharashtra, Supriya Sharma and Mridula Chari retraced Loya’s final journey from Nagpur, where he reportedly died in suspicious circumstances, to Latur.
- What we now know about the death of Special CBI judge Brijgopal Loya: Two weeks after the Caravan report, and all the follow-ups, there was some more clarity about what had happened – but also many more questions
- Not just judge Loya’s death, ‘absurd inconsistencies’ in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case: It is also impossible to look at the Loya case without following the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which Amit Shah was let off and 50 witnesses have turned hostile, as Sruthisagar Yanunan explained.
- Who killed Sohrabuddin? Debate around judge’s death puts focus back on murders by Gujarat police: Harsh Mander explained why he challenged a court decision to discharge BJP leader Amit Shah from a case involving the extra-judicial killings of three people.
- Why an ECG has become so crucial to the judge Loya death case: Was an ECG done on the judge in the first hospital to which he was taken? Conflicting statements add to suspicions earlier raised by a wrong date.
- Judge Loya’s autopsy document was manipulated by doctor related to a minister, claims Caravan report: Additional reporting from the Caravan also brought up more questions, including the allegation of manipulation of records, while a forensic expert told the magazine that the medical documents ruled out heart attack.
- Why four senior judges of the Supreme Court decided to take on CJI Dipak Misra: The case was also one of the reasons that four Supreme Court judges held an unprecedented press conference criticising the conduct of the Chief Justice of India.