Latur Bar Association Seeks CBI Probe Into Suspicious Death Of Judge Handling Sohrabuddin Case

Latur Bar Association Seeks CBI Probe Into Suspicious Death Of Judge Handling Sohrabuddin Case

The Latur Bar Association on Friday passed a resolution demanding  a court-monitored CBI inquiry into allegations of foul play in the death of Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, the Special CBI Judge presiding over the trial of BJP President Amit Shah and several Gujarat Police Officers in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

The Association resolved:

"The suspicious circumstances in which death of Shri Brijmohan Loya former members of L.D.B.A and sitting Judge of special court of C.B.I. Mumbai requires independent investigation.

The Assembly unanimously decided to pass a resolution as under. We the members of Latur District Bar Association unanimously resolved that, "The death of Shri Loya Judge has occurred in suspicious circumstances which got revealed from the journalist so, it requires the further investigated through independent commission of the Supreme Court/High Court Judge.""

Justice A.P. Shah had also recently spoken out about the allegations, opining that not enquiring into the allegations made by the family "would send a very wrong signal to the judiciary, particularly the lower cadre". He had also expressed concerns over allegations of corruption, as Judge Loya was allegedly offered a bribe of Rs. 100 crore.

The revelations

The allegations first appeared in two reports by The Caravan Magazine, which cited interviews with Judge Loya's relatives-- his sister Anuradha Biyani, niece Nupur Balaprasad Biyani and father Harkishan. According to the magazine, Judge Loya's wife Sharmila and son Anuj declined to speak since they feared for their lives.

As per the article, Judge Loya was in Nagpur for the 30 November, 2014 wedding of the daughter of  another sitting Judge at the Mumbai Sessions Court, Swapna Joshi. On 1 December, his family members received calls informing them about his demise after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

The investigative report by Mr. Niranjan Takle points out glaring inconsistencies in the cardiac arrest story. It highlights inconsistencies in the reported account of the death. There were large variations in the precise time of his death and that fact that Judge Loya's phone was wiped clean of all data before it was returned to the family. The Judge's postmortem report was also allegedly signed by “maiyatacha chulatbhau”, or paternal cousin, when his family says there is no such person in the family. Further, his family members had noticed blood on his clothes.

Another article had alleged that Justice Mohit Shah had offered Judge Loya Rs. 100 crore for a judgment in favor of Mr. Amit Shah. The article had quote the Judge's sister, who claimed that Justice Shah would " would call him late at night to meet in civil dress and pressure him to issue the judgment as soon as possible and to ensure that it is a positive judgment.

My brother was offered a bribe of 100 crore in return for a favorable judgment. Mohit Shah, the chief justice, made the offer himself."

Shortly after Judge Loya's death, a new Judge, M.B. Gosavi had discharged Mr. Amit Shah, after hearing the parties for three days. The article goes on to question the manner in which the trial took place, asserting that it had violated a September 2012 Supreme Court order, that the Sohrabuddin trial "should be conducted from beginning to end by the same officer".

Read the Resolution Here