Mumbai: In a further twist to the death of Judge Loya, The Caravan has reported that there is sufficient evidence that the post-mortem report was manipulated. The report highlighted the political clout behind the post-mortem. The focus was on the relation between Dr Makarand Vyawahare – at that time in the Forensic Department in the Government Medical College in Nagpur – and his brother in law the present Finance Minister of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungantiwar.
According to the report Dr Vyawahare constantly reminded his peers and subordinates about his connections. When he was a postgraduate student he allegedly got into a serious disagreement with a Professor. After the argument, the Professor was transferred. Though there is no direct evidence that Dr Vyawahare had anything to do with it, considering that he constantly made people aware of his connections, it is not too farfetched a conclusion.
According to unnamed employees interviewed by The Caravan, Dr Vyawahare arrived unusually early on the day Judge Loya’s corpse was brought in. Which indicates that he must have known beforehand. They mentioned that he was jittery and smoked more than he usually did. He instructed Dr N. K. Tumram on what to write in the report. Dr Vyawahare’s brother in law, Sudhir Mungantiwar was in 1995 the Maharashtra party president of the BJP. He was expected to have become the CM, however, Devendra Fadnavis was later named. The contents of The Caravan’s article certainly lay bare the extent of the political involvement in the post-mortem.
Dr Tumram’s name appeared on the report, however, Dr Vyawahare’s did not. Persons present at the time stated that for the first time they saw Dr Vyawahare take interest in physically conducting the post-mortem. He ignored the wound on the back of Judge Loya’s head, as well as the other signs that the death was unnatural. Though there was no reason to believe that Judge Loya died from a heart attack, he ensured that the reason for death was recorded as such.
It is not inconceivable that Dr Vyawahare, who is now a member of the Maharashtra Medical Council, was ordered to influence the post-mortem report. Colleagues and subordinates mentioned that he made full use of his contacts. He had manipulated post-mortems as well in the past. This was more common for corpses from his hometown. Often minor changes relating to the time of death were recorded, this according to one employee could potentially alter the outcome of an entire investigation. One incident was mentioned where after opening the stomach of a corpse, a heavy smell of insecticide arose. This was conveniently omitted from the report. If the person had been a farmer, this would have a bearing on how farmer suicides were being recorded. Thus, the relationship that existed was one of a partnership.
Other details such as dates on the report being changed also emerged. It so happened that during the course of the hearings before the Supreme Court, the post-mortem report submitted was missing a page. The Court instructed the page to be produced. The page was however only made available to Tehseen Poonawala and not the other petitioners, the Bombay Lawyer’s Association and Admiral Ramdas. At this stage, it would certainly be in the best interests of the Judiciary to Order an independent investigation into Judge Loya’s death.