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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightDeath of a Judge

Death of a Judge

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Death of a Judge
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The revelations that have been surfacing related to the death of Central Bureau of Investigation Special Judge in Mumbai Brijgopal Harkishan Loya are shocking.

Loya had been handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter killing case in which BJP president Amit Shah was the prime accused. He died in the early hours on December 1, 2014 in Nagpur. Loya who had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter there, had spoken to his wife on the phone at 11pm the previous night. But what the family heard early next morning was the news of his death due to a cardiac arrest. Loya’s sister Dr Anuradha Biyani has now come out claiming that every move related to this death was totally mysterious. Biyani has raised several hints such as taking Loya who suffered a chest pain, in an auto to a hospital which lacked even the ECG facility, conducting a postmortem without the knowledge or approval of the family and the absence of colleagues or security staff accompanying his dead body other than the ambulance driver on the way to his home in Latur. She demanded an inquiry into the incidents that took place in the Guest House in Nagpur that drove Loya into stress and eventually to death in the wee hours of that day.

Biyani has raised another grave allegation as well. Mohit Shah, the then Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, had offered Loya a bribe of Rs 100 crore and a house in Mumbai in return for a favourable judgement for a quick disposal of the special leave petition of Amit Shah. She also claims that Mohit Shah made the offer at the official residence in Mumbai. However, Loya declined the offer and carried on diligently with the case. It was following this that his death took place in mysterious circumstances. If the allegations raised by Brijgopal Loya’s family related to his death are true then the matter is grave. Amit Shah was Gujarat’s Home Minister when Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter. Amit Shah was arrested in the case and imprisoned and was barred from entering Gujarat for two years. The case was transferred to CBI Special Court in Mumbai after the Supreme Court intervened stating that the proceedings could not be held in a free and fair manner if the trial was conducted in Gujarat. It means that Sohrabuddin’s fake encounter death is a case which even the Supreme Court deemed likely to face huge pressure at the national level. It is about the sudden death of a judge handling such a case that startling allegations have now been raised.

What happened in Gujarat for long under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah is well-known. Both advanced their politics through a 'deep state' in the government and the party, inaccessible for any one. They both went ahead with their violent politics by masterminding a series of fake encounters and riots, using the government and police machinery. Given such a background, the allegations by Loya's family cannot be dismissed easily. On the third day after the incident, MP's from Trinamool Congress had staged a sit-in outside the Parliament, demanding an enquiry into Loya's death. Sohrabuddin's brother, Rubabuddin had submitted a petition to the Chief Justice of Mumbay High Court Mohit Shah in 2014 itself, raising the same demand. But strangely enough, Rubabuddin has not received a reply so far. All these are facts have come to the fore one by one now, only thanks to the new revelations of Loya’s sister.

The record of Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine would bear out the fact that they have no qualms about doing anything objectionable to grab power and adhere to it. For this very reason, a serious probe is warranted into the facts now raised by the relatives regarding the death of Loya, and the interference of Justice Mohit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case. It is the slack attitude of the Opposition parties including Congress in taking on face to face the divisive politics of BJP that has brought the country to this state. The Congress does not seem ready to take seriously the revelations coming out regarding Loya's death. It is the time for civil rights activists, lawyers’ unions and voluntary organizations working close to judicial domain, to intervene more actively and with greater vigilance. This is needed to tear off the curtains covering up lies and mystery.

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