Citizen's forum demands independent probe into judge Loya's death

New Delhi, Jan 16: A public meeting held in New Delhi under the banner of the All India People's Forum on Monday demanded an "independent" probe into the alleged suspicious death of special CBI judge BH Loya.

Speaking at the meeting, senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising said the courts should have taken "suo motu" (on its own motion) cognizance of the death of the judge, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh "fake encounter" case, in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused.

The CBI court had subsequently acquitted Shah in the case.

Jaising also criticised the alleged interference of the executive in the affairs of the judiciary, while lauding the four senior Supreme Court judges for voicing their grievances as regards the functioning of the top court at a press conference here on Friday.

"We need to pay attention to the government's interference in the judiciary. Those condemning the Supreme Court judges have vested interests," the senior lawyer said.

Journalist Niranjan Takle, who had written an article on the "suspicious" death of judge Loya, raised several questions, referring to his interviews with the latter's family members.

"Loya's father had told me that the judge was under pressure as he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and that he had talked to him about taking a transfer or resigning," he claimed.

Loya had died of a cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014 in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.

Loya's friend and former president of the Latur Bar Association Uday Gaware described the late judge as an "honest" man, while demanding an independent probe into his death.

"It was a calculated murder. He (Loya) chose honesty over death," he said.

The meeting was also addressed by retired Bombay high court judge BG Kolse-Patil and Caravan magazine's editor Hartosh Singh Bal.

"The Loya case should not be seen in isolation and it needs to be inquired into in a transparent manner," Justice (retd) Kolse-Patil said.

The Supreme Court has termed the alleged mysterious death of Loya a "serious matter" and sought a response from the Maharashtra government on the pleas seeking an independent probe into it.

On Sunday, the deceased judge's son told PTI the family was convinced that his father had died of natural causes and that it no longer harboured the suspicions it earlier had. 

PTI