BH Loya death case: Opposition delegation submits memorandum to President

BH Loya death case Opposition delegation submits memorandum to President

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Courtesy ANI news

Asserting that they had no faith in either the CBI or the NIA, Opposition MPs on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind for a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of CBI Judge B.H. Loya who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

He said on the basis of statements made by Judge Loya's family, an FIR should have been registered soon after his death.

The matter came under the spotlight after a magazine quoted Judge Loya's younger sister's fueled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his death.

The delegation presented a memorandum to the president signed by 114 lawmakers from 15 parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, NCP, DMK, RJD, AAP and the Left.

"Many political parties and parliamentarians expressed this feeling that the death of Judge Loya was suspicious". Shrikant Khandalkara, public spirited lawyer in Nagpur, allegedly fell from a high rise building in the district court on November 29th 2015 and Prakash Thombre, a retired district judge allegedly died on May 16th 2016 falling from the upper berth in a train.

Rahul countered the BJP's charge that the Congress was demanding a probe in the death of Judge Loya just to target Amit Shah, saying "the law should take its own course". In return the deceased judge was offered ₹100 crore and a flat or land in Mumbai.

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However, the government has yet to deliver on these reforms or on promised anti-corruption measures. The Minister said a decision will be taken on whether to stay in the government at that meeting.

Loya's case came into the spotlight in November a year ago when his family members raised questions about his death claiming that he was under tremendous pressure regarding the Soharabuddin case.

The leaders said that if the lives of Judges and lawyers are jeopardised for doing their duty, then democracy is under grave threat.

Sibal said they had asked for an independent investigation into Loya's death by a Supreme Court-monitored team because they did not trust the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency.

The investigation should not be entrusted to either the CBI or the NIA, given their track record, the MPs said. Such a procedure will restore the credibility of institutions in the eyes of the public. "We sincerely hope you will use your good offices to serve the cause of justice". Asked why the Opposition approached the President when the matter was being heard by the Supreme Court, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "There is no investigation by the Supreme Court".

The bench is hearing pleas including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based BS Lone seeking an independent probe into Loya's death in 2014. "These matters can not be decided through a Public Interest Litigation", he said. The matter was leading to yellow journalism, Rohatgi said.

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