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Civil society demands Justice in Loya case

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The mysterious case of Justice Brijgopal Harkishan Loya in 2014 has again been re-opened by an activist Ashok Pai who is demanding a thorough inquiry. On January 30 last, Mr. Pai went on a protest with more than 30 people at the Gateway of India to demand a fresh probe in Loya death case. Such protests were also held at places like Andheri station, Churchgate to Mumbai High Court. Of them, eight to nine activists were from the Civil Society, Mumbai, while one person had come from Pune.

People were detained by the police. However later they were all released. According to the protesters they were detained because they were all wearing T-shirts with identical lettering that read, “Who killed Judge Loya?”Apart from the T- shirts, the protesters also held a banner with the image of Mahatma Gandhi and ‘Satyamev Jayate’ written on it.

On Tuesday, Mr. Pai held a press conference at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh at Azad Maidan to discuss in detail the death of Justice Loya. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Mr Pai said, “We are hopeful that this government would conduct an inquiry sincerely. We want that the case should be re-opened.”

When AV contacted Mr. Pai, he said, “The inquiry done by the previous Maharashtra government through SCID Mr Sanjay Barwe was a sham. He did the inquiry within 2 days, getting statements of 4 judges in a single day which is impossible.”

He further stated, “Why did the Maharashtra government have to hire a battery of topmost lawyers of the country like Mukul Rohatgi and Harish Salve and spend crores of public money just to stop the investigation?”

Home minister Anil Deshmukh on January 9 had said that the Maharashtra government is ready to reinvestigate the death case of Loya and it will do the necessary inquiry to reinvestigate the case.

After forming Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh have favoured the reopening of the Justice Loya case.

In an interview with a Marathi news channel, Sharad Pawar has said, “If there is a demand [for an investigation], then one should think about it on what basis are they making this demand, what is the truth in it, this should be investigated. If there is something in it, then maybe a re-investigation should be done. If not, then it is not right to make baseless allegations on anyone.”

Justice Loya expired on December 1, 2014 due to cardiac arrest in Nagpur where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. Reportedly, Loya died when he was hearing a matter related to the allegedly fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. According to sources, in this fake encounter Home minister Amit Shah was one of the accused. Incidentally, Shah was Gujarat state minister when this fake encounter took place.

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