Family members of the judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya—who presided over the trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, where the main person accused was the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah—have raised numerous questions over his sudden death, purportedly of a heart attack, while on a visit to Nagpur in 2014. Since The Caravan first published these questions
last month, our investigations have uncovered signs of possible manipulation in every record made public so far with information on the circumstances of Loya’s final night. These include the occupancy register at the government guest house where he stayed, and an ECG chart purportedly generated at Dande Hospital, the first medical facility he was reportedly taken to after feeling unwell.
The Rohingya Muslims, a community that lives in the western Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, are among the most persecuted minorities in the world. After a spate of targeted violence against the community by Myanmar’s army that began in August this year, over 600,000 Rohingyas
fled into neighbouring Bangladesh. In his 2016 book, The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide, the author Azeem Ibrahim traced the history of the Rohingya people to demonstrate how their persecution has been unfolding over decades, going back as early as 1948.
The news about cricket administration in India appears similar to that of a family-run business being dragged, kicking and screaming, towards professional management. In 2013, the Supreme Court initiated a process of reform in Indian cricket administration, following a scandal involving spot-fixing
and conflicts of interest in the management of the Indian Premier League. At the time, the governing bodies for the sport in India, such as the Cricket Association of Bihar, had almost unanimously expressed their support
for the reforms. But since then, cricket administration in India has remained complex.
Two retired judges of the higher judiciary—former Supreme Court justice PB Sawant, and former Bombay High Court justice BG Kolse-Patil—have joined a growing chorus of support for an investigation into the death of the judge BH Loya. In separate interviews with The Caravan, the two judges have demanded an independent inquiry into the suspicions raised by Loya’s family. “This matter needs a thorough investigation,” Sawant told The Caravan. “Otherwise, the truth will not come out,” he said.
बीते 27 नवंबर को लातूर बार असोसिएशन के सदस्यों ने लातूर की जिला अदालत से जिला कलेक्टर के कार्यालय तक एक मार्च निकाला और जज लोया की मौत की जांच कराने संबंधी एक ज्ञापन सौंपा। द कारवां को दिए एक इंटरव्यू में मरहूम जज के बैचमेट, वरिष्ठ अधिवक्ता और बार असोसिएशन के पूर्व अध्यक्ष उदय गवारे ने याद करते हुए बताया कि सोहराबुद्दीन केस की सुनवाई के दौरान लोया ने उनके समक्ष ''दबाव में होने'' की बात स्वीकारी थी। गवारे कहते हैं कि उस दौर में ''मैंने पहली बार देखा कि बृजमोहनजी इतने ज्यादा तनाव में थे वरना वे आम तौर से खुशमिजाज़ रहते थे।''
बीते 29 नवंबर को द कारवां को एक ईमेल मिला। भेजने वाले ने खुद को मरहूम जज बीएच लोया के बेटे अनुज लोया का दोस्त बताया था। उसने लिखा है कि 30 नवंबर को उसकी अनुज से बातचीत हुई थी। अनुज ने उन्हें फरवरी 2015 को लिखे अपने उस पत्र की प्रति दिखाई थी जो जज लोया की बहन के पास उन्होंने छोड़ रखी थी। जज की मौत से जुड़ी संदिग्ध परिस्थितियों पर अपनी स्टोरी में द कारवां ने यही पत्र प्रकाशित किया था। पत्र में लिखा था, ''यदि मुझे या मेरे परिवार के सदस्यों के साथ कुछ भी होता है, तो षडयंत्र में लिप्त मुख्य न्यायाधीश मोहित शाह और अन्य उसके लिए जिम्मेदार होंगे।'' जिस दोस्त ने द कारवां से संपर्क किया था, उसे चिंता थी कि अनुज अब दबाव में है। उसने बताया कि अनुज ने उससे कहा था कि ''अगर उसके परिवार को कोई भी नुकसान होता है'' तो ''मीडिया या ऐसे किसी शख्स को जो कुछ कर पाने में सक्षम हो,'' इस पत्र के बारे में उसे खबर कर देनी चाहिए।
On 27 November, members of the Latur Bar Association marched from the Latur district court to the office of the district collector, to submit a memorandum seeking a probe into the death of the judge BH Loya. In an interview to The Caravan, Uday Gaware, a batchmate of the late judge, and a senior lawyer and former president of the bar association, recalled that Loya had confided in him about being “under pressure” while presiding over the Sohrabuddin case. During that period, Gaware added, “the otherwise jovial Brijmohanji Loya ... for the first time I saw that he was in a lot of tension.”
On 29 November, an email appeared in The Caravan’s inbox from a sender identifying himself as a friend of Anuj Loya, the son of the late judge BH Loya. In a conversation on 30 November, he informed us that Anuj had shown him a copy of a letter dated February 2015, which Anuj had also left with Judge Loya’s sister. The Caravan had obtained and published the letter in an earlier story
regarding the circumstances surrounding the judge’s death. The letter had stated, “If anything happens to me or my family members, chief justice, Mohit Shah and others involved in the conspiracy will be responsible.” Worried that Anuj was under pressure now, the friend who reached out to The Caravan said that Anuj had told him “that if any harm came to his family,” he was to tell the “media or someone who could do something about it” about the letter.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Lok Sabha member of parliament Shatrughan Sinha told The Caravan that the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the judge BH Loya “should be raised in Parliament, outside Parliament.” Sinha spoke to The Caravan on 24 November, four days after it published of a series of investigative reports by Niranjan Takle that raised significant questions about the judge’s death. Sinha noted that “the matter appears to be very serious” and that it should be addressed “anywhere and everywhere.” “We are not a banana republic,” he added.
BH Marlapalle, a retired judge of the Bombay High Court, has written to Manjula Chellur, the chief justice of the high court, urging an “investigation by an SIT” into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the judge BH Loya. Marlapalle’s letter is dated 21 November—the day after The Caravan published a series of investigative reports on significant discrepancies
between the reported account of Loya’s death, and the accounts of his family.
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