10 Jan 2020
Maharashtra 'open to reinvestigating' Loya case; BJP alleges political motive
Days after taking charge as Maharashtra's Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh on Thursday addressed the likelihood of the government reopening the murky case of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya's death.
Some people meeting me demand case be reopened: Deshmukh
Speaking to the reporters on Thursday, Deshmukh said, "Our government is open to reinvestigating the Loya death case. Some people are meeting me today to demand that the case be reopened. I will hear them out and if necessary, the case will be reinvestigated."
When asked if the people meeting him were Loya's family members, Deshmukh said, "I don't want to disclose that."
Earlier, Sharad Pawar indicated reopening of Loya case
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik told PTI that the Loya case will only be reinvestigated if there is substantial evidence.
Malik's clarification came after a three-hour meeting of NCP ministers, presided by party chief Sharad Pawar.
Notably, Pawar had indicated last month that the Shiv-Sena-Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra may reopen the Loya case if there's a demand and need.
Nothing but politics, says BJP's Fadnavis
Expectedly, the BJP decried the move as "politically motivated."
Former Maharashtra CM and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnvais said, "Raking up the Loya death case after the SC verdict is nothing but politics. The government cannot defeat the truth whatever it does."
BJP leader Ashish Shelar asked if Deshmukh is "following the law or acting with a certain prejudice?"
Judge Loya died of cardiac arrest while attending a wedding
To recall, Judge Loya died of cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014, while attending a colleague's daughter's wedding.
He was hearing the case of fake encounters of Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi in 2005 and close aide Tulsi Prajapati in 2006.
Then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, senior IPS officials were among those accused in the case.
Loya's successor had acquitted Shah
Suspiciously, not only did Loya die mid-way through the hearings, his successor acquitted Shah and the other accused in the case.
Questions were raised once again after Loya's family furnished curious details about his death—an inconsistent time of demise, bloodstains on his clothes, a head injury, etc.—in The Caravan's 2017 report.
The family also claimed he was under pressure to deliver a favorable judgment.
SC held Loya died of 'natural causes'
Following a public outcry, the Supreme Court in January 2018 observed that the case was a "serious matter."
However, in April that year, the court ruled that Loya died of "natural causes" and accused the petitioners of launching a "frontal attack on the independence of the judiciary," also threatening criminal contempt.
The court also dismissed a review petition in the case in July 2018.
Documents sent to Deshmukh similar to ones sent to Sibal
Further, officials told Hindustan Times that the documents submitted to Deshmukh in the case are similar to the ones sent to Congress leader and SC lawyer Kapil Sibal after which, he had held a presser demanding an SC-monitored SIT probe into Loya's death in 2018.
- Amit Shah
- Anil Deshmukh
- BH Loya
- Judge Loya
- Sohrabuddin Sheikh
- Ashish Shelar
- Bharatiya Janata Party
- Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah
- Brijgopal Harkishan Loya
- Central Bureau
- Congress Party
- Devendra Fadnvais
- Former Maharashtra CM
- Gujarat Home
- Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah
- Gulabchand Kataria
- Hindustan Times
- Kapil Sibal
- Kausar Bi
- Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik
- Nationalist Congress Party
- Nawab Malik
- Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria
- SC-monitored SIT
- Sharad Pawar
- Supreme Court
- Tulsi Prajapati