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Judge Loya death case: Opposition delegation led by Rahul Gandhi meets President Kovind, demands independent probe

A group of MPs from 13 Opposition parties, led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday at 5 pm to discuss CBI special Judge BH Loya's death case. The delegation included representatives from AAP, AITMC, CPI, and CPM apart from nine other political parties.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Opposition parties' main demand was to launch a SIT-monitored investigation into the death of judge Loya, who was looking into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case at the time of his death.

Speaking to the press after meeting the President, Rahul said that 114 MPs felt that the judge's demise occurred in suspicious circumstances and an investigation is needed. "There was an atmosphere of suspicion in the Parliament House and 114 members of 15 parties felt that this should be taken to the President and a SIT will be the right way to go forward," Rahul said.

He said, "We just want that an independent investigation should happen and the people should know its outcome... We just want that the law should take its course."

CPI leader D Raja said, "It is not that just the Members of Parliament or politicians are agitating, the people of the country at large are protesting."

Congress leader Kapil Sibal also reasserted points made by Rahul, while adding that it was most peculiar that a judge died while hearing a case naming incriminating powerful politicians and there is not even an FIR.

"There is no FIR, there is no probe. The Supreme Court is merely hearing a PIL. Such matters are not decided by PILs; an investigation is needed to find out the truth," Sibal said.

Speaking about the nature of investigation they seek, he said, "We told the President we don't trust CBI and NIA. We want an independent SIT-monitored probe, like there was one in the 2G-scam. If an SIT can be formed for a commercial matter, this relates to someone's death."

The meeting came two days after it was reported that several Opposition members and Members of Parliament from both Houses had signed a three-page letter to the President regarding suspicions surrounding judge Loya's death. The letter spoke of the need for an independent probe explaining the case in detail and mentions the new "revelations" related to the case.

Judge Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. Some members of Loya’s family had alleged foul play in his death.

On 31 January 2018, Sibal held a press conference in New Delhi demanding Loya's death must be probed independently by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team.

Addressing the media, Sibal had said the party was putting out some hitherto unknown "facts" in the public domain, including that judge Loya, who was holding the trial into the alleged staged shootout death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and two others, had told a lawyer-activist in a video conversation about "a draft order" which he was being "pressurised to sign".

BJP president Amit Shah was an accused in the case but was later acquitted.

The petitioners in the case have also urged the Supreme Court to order an independent probe in the case citing contradictions in the report submitted by the Maharashtra government and discrepancies in the statements of judicial officers who were present on the spot. The government has argued that the case should be shut and there is no need for an investigation as the four judges accompanying Loya on the day of his death have reported there were no untoward incidents to create suspicion. Two of these four judges have now been elevated to the high court.


Published Date: Feb 09, 2018 18:26 PM | Updated Date: Feb 09, 2018 18:35 PM

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