'Set up a Time-Bound Public Enquiry Commission to Probe Judge Loya's Death'

"It would not be inaccurate to say that one of our most powerful and respected institutions is not keen or able to look after its own – its judges".

New Delhi: A group of concerned citizens has released a statement demanding a time-bound public enquiry commission to get to the truth of the allegedly suspicious death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya.

The statement, signed by academic and writer Apoorvanand, poet Ashok Vajpeyi, novelist Githa Hariharan, writers Natasha Badhwar and Priya Ramani, and historian Rajmohan Gandhi, has raised concern about the fact that despite calls for a judicial enquiry, no action has been taken to probe  Loya’s death. It points out that there has been no attempt on the part of the judiciary to take up the matter suo motu.

The pleas seeking a probe follow two reports published in Caravan magazine quoting immediate members of Loya’s family questioning the circumstances surrounding the judge’s death. Loya, who was presiding over the CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, passed away on December 1, 2014, after suffering a heart attack while in Nagpur to attend a colleague’s daughter’s wedding.

“After this report, different versions have appeared in other newspapers and news websites. They, rather than clearing the air, have only deepened the doubts and raised more questions,” the statement reads.

“It is disturbing for us to note that other than multiple conflicting versions of the circumstances of Judge Loya’s death, there have been allegations of undue pressure exerted upon and allurement offered to the deceased judge,” it adds.

The statement goes on to state:

It would not be inaccurate to say that one of our most powerful and respected institutions is not keen or able to look after its own – its judges. This has raised serious questions about the credibility of our institutions and has grave ramifications for the future of our democratic system. The faith of the general public stands shaken.

The signatories point that it is imperative that an impartial, transparent and credible enquiry be instituted in order to bring the complete facts to light and thereby restore confidence, faith and belief in the hearts and minds of the people.

The signatories have demanded that the enquiry commission comprise persons of impeccable integrity who are associated with and understand the field of law and policing.

“As neither the government nor the judiciary has shown any inclination to move in this direction, we as citizens of the Indian Republic feel that it is our responsibility to find the truth,” the statement reads.

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