Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Justice Loya Death: Opposition MPs meet President, demand probe

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and 114 lawmakers from 15 parties met President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi on Friday over Judge Loya death case Judge Loya death is suspicious: Rahul Gandhi says after opposition leaders meet President
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 14:51

Speaking to reporters after meeting the President, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: "We met the President over Judge Loya's death".

Loya was presiding over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was discharged after the judge died.

A delegation of MP's from the opposition parties has been led to Rashtrapati Bhavan by the Congress President Rahul Gandhi. "Many MPs are of the opinion that there should be an investigation over Judge Loya's death".

Besides the Congress, the delegation had representatives of parties including Trinamool Congress, SP, NCP, DMK, RJD, CPM, CPI, AAP, JD (S) and JMM. However, ever since The Caravan published an investigative piece that recorded the versions of Loya's family members and showed multiple loopholes in the way Loya's death was painted as a natural one, the party has found itself under a renewed attack from both political parties and civil society alike. "Recently, four senior-most puisne judges of the Supreme Court also expressed the sentiment that democracy was in peril", the MPs said, referring to the sensational press conference by Supreme Court judges last month that brought to the fore differences in the top judiciary. Soon after his death, the new judge who took over exonerated Shah of the charge owing to lack of evidence.

Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state of Maharashtra, alleged that the petitioners who had moved the Supreme Court demanding an investigation had a motive behind it and were wasting the court's time, India Legal reported. "In return, the deceased Judge was offered Rs 100 crore and a flat or land in Mumbai", the memorandum said.

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The memorandum said the "recent revelations regarding Judge Brijgopal Harkishen Loya's death require investigation".

The investigation should not be entrusted to either the CBI or the NIA, given their track record, the MPs said. Also, the memorandum read that "Such a procedure will ensure the credibility of the institution in the eyes of the public. We sincerely hope you will use your good offices to serve the cause of justice", the letter said.

Asked for the reason for approaching the President while the case is pending in the apex court, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said there is no investigation by the court. "These matters can not be decided through a Public Interest Litigation", he said.

"We believe that if lives of judges and lawyers are jeopardised for doing their duty, then democracy is under grave threat...."

The CPI-M had been considering moving an impeachment motion against the CJI in the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, but the Congress managers said no decision in the sensitive matter should be taken in haste.

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