Nagpur: The allegedly ” suspicious circumstances” surrounding a relatively young CBI Judge Justice Loya have been ‘breaking news’ for the last few days.
Why the family has chosen to speak up almost 3 years later – he died in Nagpur on 1st December 2014 – is a moot question. There can be much speculation about it, but no one but the family can answer it.
The question that arose in my mind though is this – if this sudden and mysterious death happened in Nagpur, why had the Nagpur media, including we at NT, not written about it?
We scanned clippings of old newspapers, google searched, but found no reports at all! Very strange, since Nagpur has many newspapers published daily in 3 languages, English, Marathi and Hindi; senior correspondents of many national newspapers and active TV correspondents too. How come no one had smelled anything fishy?
Also, if one has been privy to the world of the judiciary, it is easily noticed that they have a tight little universe of their own. Since judges are not supposed to ‘mingle’ with society at large, they have close bonds with each other. It was unthinkable that a judge, however junior, would suddenly become sick and pass away in another city where he was on a social visit, that too as a guest of another judge, and fellow judges would not be concerned. (As is being made out by latest versions of the ‘story’).
Our own Crime Reporter Ravikant Kamble is very alert to any happenings that involve Nagpur police and he has an excellent rapport with all police stations of Nagpur.
We asked him to probe what had transpired on the intervening night of November 30th and December 1st, 3 years ago (2014).
He contacted both the Sitabaldi police station and Sadar, where the case was later ‘transferred’, since GMC comes under their jurisdiction. The post mortem on Justice Loya’s body was conducted here on 1st December.
This is what Ravikant was told by the present P.I. of Sadar, Sunil Bonde. It is noteworthy that Inspector Bonde’s version also significantly negates the Caravan narration. (Just as the Indian Express story does).
“Foul play is not possible because senior judges were present when Justice Loya was first taken to Dande’s hospital and later to Meditrina. The CJ of Maharashtra was there and so was Justice Bhushan Gavai, the senior most judge of Nagpur. They were directing police and other, junior judges on what was to be done…” Contrary to the Caravan story a judge of Nagpur High Court personally drove Justice Loya to Dande’s in his car. He was not callously sent to hospital in an auto riksha!
Further, according to the police , once attempts to revive Justice Loya had failed at Meditrina the decision was taken to conduct a post mortem since it was a case of sudden and unexpected death. (Ironically, to prevent just such a controversy in future, but now the post mortem itself has become a subject of controversy.)
The post mortem
A distant relative Dr. Rathi, on the request of a close member of the family, undertook personal responsibility on behalf of the family from then on.
(Recalling that morning, Rathi said that he got a call from his uncle (“mausa”) Rukmesh Pannalal Jakotia. “He said his cousin (judge Loya) had been admitted to Meditrina hospital and asked me to help him. When I reached the hospital, doctors told me he was no more. I conveyed this to my uncle. He asked me to take care of the formalities,” said Rathi.
Rathi added: “There were about seven to eight judges, including Justice Bhushan Gavai. The judges said a post-mortem needed to be done. A senior police official was called from the Sitabuldi police station for panchnama.”)
Immediately on the judge’s death, a zero FIR had been registered with Sitabaldi police station, but since GMC is under Sadar police, the matter of following up of the p.m. was done by them. Panchnama was conducted by police as per norms.
According to police, the post mortem clearly states the cause of death as massive heart attack.
Forensic examination shows 100% blockages in his blood vessels.
Why the blood stains on the shirt?
During the process of post mortem, vital organs are removed. Body is cut open leading to some bleeding. (Not as much though when a person is alive).
According to police explanation, after a p.m. the suturing is done with big stitches to just sew up the body before handing it over to relatives, so blood can seep out and stain clothes. Specially if the body is transported by road over a long distance.
“There is no doubt, it was 505% a natural death and the cause was heart attack” opine police sources.
Everything needed was done by other judges and police. There was no neglect of protocol.
Why the family is speaking up three years later is NOT the question… why a ‘journalist’ has raked up the issue and asked the questions NOW ( when Gujarat elections are about to happen) is the question.
—Sunita Mudaliar (Executive Editor)