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Congress demands independent probe into Judge Loya’s death

On Friday, justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph mounted a virtual revolt against CJI Dipak Misra at a press meet in Delhi, raising questions on "selective" allocation of cases.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: January 15, 2018 9:50:44 pm
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi demands independent probe into Judge Loya's death Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the inquiry should be conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court or the High Court. (Express photo)

The Congress on Monday demanded an independent investigation into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, and argued that the consent of his kin was not necessary as the matter “impinges” on democracy. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi’s remarks came a day after Loya’s son said that his father died of natural causes and not in suspicious circumstances and urged NGOs and parties not to “politicise” the matter.

Singhvi said that in a matter of public or national interest, anyone can seek a probe and it is not necessary that it will be ordered only on the plea of a family member of the deceased. “As a responsible stakeholder of democracy of this country, we want a fair and comprehensive inquiry regarding the mysterious death of judge Loya,” he told reporters here.

Steering clear of any link with the current crisis in the Supreme Court, he said the Congress was not politicising the issue but was only seeking an impartial probe into the death of the judge. “All my comments today have nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called Supreme Court imbroglio, nothing whatsoever. I think every citizen in this country and every political party is independently entitled to ask for a fair, comprehensive inquiry into his death,” he said.

Singhvi said the inquiry should be conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court or the High Court. The Congress leader also read out statements of the judge’s son Anuj Loya made two years ago at the time of his death and the statements of the judge’s father and two sisters raising suspicion over his death.

Read: Judge Loya death case: SC says matter ‘very serious’, seeks reply from Maharashtra govt on probe pleas

“This whole argument that there is a politicisation is false. We are simply, as a responsible stakeholder of Indian democracy, asking for inquiry and putting before you the absolute patent paradoxes and contradictions in the diverse statements,” he said. Singhvi said an independent, time-bound probe is necessary to bring out the truth in the case and the contradicting statements made by Loya’s family two years ago and now are also reasons enough for it.

“Whether one wants it or opposes it, whether it is a family member or not, a matter which impinges on and what can be more impinging that the death of the judge alleged to be in non-natural circumstance. “If a matter impinges in this manner as a vital organ of Indian democracy, and therefore, on democracy itself, then the demand for an inquiry is a demand by responsible stakeholders and is not dependent on whether family member wants it and family member does not want it,” he said.

On the BJP’s remarks that the judges controversy was a “storm in the teacup”, he took a dig at the ruling party and said “those who are verbose on the most trivial of things are silent today regarding the administration of the Supreme Court and judge Loya’s death.”

Anuj Loya spoke out on Sunday amid an ongoing row between four Supreme Court judges and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, saying despite his earlier suspicion about his father’s sudden death, the family now was convinced that his death was natural.

Anuj Loya said his family was “pained” by the things happening over his father’s death, adding that NGOs and politicians should stop “harassing” his family members.

Judge Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh “fake encounter” case, had allegedly died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused in the case but has been discharged.

On Friday, justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph mounted a virtual revolt against CJI Dipak Misra at a press meet in Delhi, raising questions on “selective” allocation of cases.

Loya’s death is the subject of a PIL in the Supreme Court that was one of the triggers for the revolt against Justice Misra.

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