NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said that Central Bureau of Investigation Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s death should be re-investigated if there is a demand and need for it.
Sharad Pawar said in an interview to a Marathi news channel, “If there is something in it [the demands], then maybe a re-investigation should be done.”
“I don’t know, I read in the paper in some articles, that there is a discussion among Maharashtra’s people to investigate in-depth [the death of Justice Loya],” said Pawar, adding that he had no detailed information about it.
“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 either,” he said.
Judge Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case at the time of his death, in which BJP President Amit Shah was one of the accused.
Serious question were raised on whether Loya’s death was natural after The Caravan published a report in November 2017, in which Loya’s family said the circumstances of his death were suspicious and that he had been under pressure to deliver a favourable judgement.
Immediate demands were raised for the Supreme Court to treat these concerns seriously.
In July 2018, the apex court had dismissed a review petition seeking an investigation into Loya’s death. The court was hearing a plea filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association seeking a review of the top court’s April 19 judgement dismissing pleas for an independent inquiry into Judge Loya’s death.
In its April 2018 ruling, the top court said there was no reason to not believe the judicial officers who were present with Loya at the time of his death. It accused the petitioners of trying to “malign the judiciary” and called their petitions “scandalous and amounting to criminal contempt”.