Published On : Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

Ex-Navy chief files plea in SC for probe into Loya’s death

New Delhi: Former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (retd) has filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking an independent inquiry by a panel of retired apex court judges and former police officers into the alleged mysterious death of special Central Bureau of Investigation judge B H Loya.

Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikhfake encounter case, had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur onDecember 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

Some members of Loya’s family hadalleged foul play in his death.

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah was one of the accused in the Sheikh encounter case in which he was later discharged.

The application, filed by Ramdas, has also sought adirection to the Centre to cooperate with the inquirycommittee and provide the necessary documents.

He has sought an independent probe, saying the statementsmade by Loya’s family members ‘have led to allegations of foulplay coming to the surface’ regarding the events that had transpired on the night he died.

“It is therefore just and necessary that an independent probe be directed to be made,” the plea said.

It further said that ‘the silence of individuals who were present during the final hours of Loya’s life coupled with institutional inaction to probe the circumstances of his death when it occurred in 2014 threatens these cherished ideals of independence of judiciary and the rule of law’.

The plea said ‘a judicial probe’ was needed in the casein order to uphold the image of judiciary and deliver justice to Loya’s family.

It claimed that the death of a sitting judge hearing a sensitive case in an ‘unnatural manner’ raises questions about the rule of law and requires to be properly probed by an independent agency.

The petition also sought permission that anyone who had evidence to establish the circumstances of Loya’s death be allowed to appear before the multi-member panel and provide relevant information.

The plea has also raked up the issue of transfer of CBI Judge J T Utpat, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case before Loya was transferred to that court.

It has sought direction to the committee to probe into the reasons for the the ‘arbitrary transfer’ of Utpat and submit a report to the court.