Opposition MPs meet President Ram Nath Kovind, ask for SIT into Justice Loya’s death

New Delhi: Opposition MPs led by Rahul Gandhi on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind for a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of CBI judge B H Loya and said they have no faith in either the CBI or the NIA. The memorandum has been signed by 114 MPs from 15 parties, including the TMC, SP, NCP, DMK, RJD and AAP, as well as the Left parties. The BSP is not a signatory to the letter.

The memorandum notes that Loya’s father and sister have revealed that he was being pressurised by none other than the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to render a decision in favour of the accused Amit Shah and in return he was offered Rs 100 crore and a flat or land in Mumbai. It said such statements amount to cognizable offence which requires lodging of an FIR is mandatory as a procedure consistent with the law. For the Bombay High Court not doing so is a matter of grave concern.

Congress lists questions on Rafale deal for Modi govt, says India demands answers
The memorandum further pointed out that suspicion that it was not a natural death but a murder arose from the fact that two of his confidantes, including a retired district judge, also died in the suspicious circumstances. One of Loya’s confidante was lawyer Shrikant Khandalkar, who fell to his death in 2015 from the sixth floor of the district court building; and in 2016, district judge Prakash Thombre fell from the top berth inside a train coach and his spine broke.

“To uphold the majesty of law, we request you to intervene in the matter. What is required is a thorough investigation through a team of independent officers selected and monitored by the Supreme Court,” the memorandum stated. The investigation should not be entrusted to either the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency, given their track record, the MPs said. “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,” they told the president.

Rahul Gandhi, who led the opposition charge, said: “Judge Loya died under suspicious circumstances. It will be an ode to him and his family that the investigation takes place properly,” Rahul told reporters after meeting the President and described his response as “positive.”  Congress leader Kapil Sibal pointed out that if a Special Investigation Team can be formed for the 2G case, then one can also be formed for a probe into Judge Loya’s death.

When asked about the need for demanding a separate probe as the SC is already hearing a Public Interest Litigation on the issue, Sibal said that such matters cannot be decided through PILs. “There is no investigation in the Supreme Court,” he said.