In a freewheeling chat with our Editor-in-Chief, Dr Vaidehi Taman, Mr Vinod Chand laid emphasis on the need for free and fair investigation in the Justice Loya case.
Justice Loya’s family doesn’t have any doubt about his death. In such circumstances, will your fight really have substantial ground in this case?
This statement attributed to the family was made during the time of the Devendra Fadnavis government. At the Centre, the same party (BJP) is heading the government. The day the story broke in the Caravan Magazine, the entire family of Loya was picked up by the Maharashtra Police. They were taken to a farm and held captive for 15 days and they were not given food or water for three days. They wanted to pressurise the family.
Is the family out of fear now?
The family is not contactable because they are still under fear. They are traumatised as the same government still is at the Centre holding power. The government has only changed in the state. The family has a video that has recorded all the statements. If the family gets an assurance that they need not fear, then they will change their stand.
With the family involved in this moment and a BJP government at the Centre, how do you look at the future of this case?
The family doesn’t matter. Let’s say you are murdered whether your family is convinced or not whether it was a natural death or murder, the fact does not change that your death needs an investigation. We are not telling that the man was murdered or he died a natural death. Sanjay Barve the current Mumbai Police Commissioner has done a discreet inquiry. Legally there is no status for such a discreet inquiry. Either there is a proper investigation or no investigation.
Still BJP is in power at the Centre?
It doesn’t matter. We are saying that the whole process has been short-circuited. There should not be a discreet inquiry. There should be free and fair investigation. In a criminal case, most of the work is done in a trial court. The Supreme Court has put a lid on the case.
Do you think free and fair investigation will happen?
If it happens, well and good, and if it doesn’t, then we will agitate. We have asked 20 questions if somebody can answer those questions we will close the case.