New Delhi: The Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), on Monday, filed an Intervention Application before the Supreme Court, demanding a Court monitored probe by a “high powered team” into CBI Special Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s death.
The Application, filed through CPIL’s Secretary, Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, makes reference to a report published last month by the Caravan Magazine, which had cited opinion from Dr. R. K. Sharma, one of India’s foremost forensic experts. According to this report, Dr. Sharma had examined Judge Loya’s post-mortem report and related histopathology report, and had ruled out the possibility of him dying due to a heart attack. Dr. Sharma had, in fact, opined that the reports showed signs of trauma to the brain and even possible poisoning.
CPIL now claims to have sent a copy of Judge Loya’s ECG report and histopathogy report to Dr. Upendra Kaul, one of India’s most reputed cardiologists, with the following questions:
Could this person have suffered a serious heart attack, one-two hours before this ECG is taken?
Is the histopathology report of his coronary arteries and heart muscle consistent with his death being due to acute myocardial infraction or coronary thrombosis?
Whether a person who has died due to myocardial infraction could show significant congestion of the dura, liver, spleen, kidney, larynx, trachoa and Bronchi, lungs? Is it possible for this congestion of all his organs as mentioned in the post mortem report, to have taken place because of CPR administered at the time of his death?
The Application then says that Dr. Kaul answered the first question in the negative, stating that “the ECG has no evidence of a recent myocardial infarction”. The answers to the other two questions also, it says, “almost conclusively destroy the official version of Judge Loya dying of a heart attack”.
The Application further relies on expert opinion sought by Advocate Prashant Bhushan from other reputed cardiologists, who in effect confirmed the conclusions that the ECG does not show any signs of a recent heart attack and that if Judge Loya had died due to a heart attack, some part of the heart muscle would have died, which is not the case here.
The Application then highlights the failure of the State to hand over the ECG and the histopathology report to the Court, contending, “The withholding of the ECG report and the histopathology report from the set of documents handed over by the State of Maharashtra to the Court (without any affidavit) also assumes significance in this regard. The government appears to have withheld these documents since they were aware that they would demolish the claims of the government that judge Loya died of a heart attack.”…
It goes on to point out that the State of Maharashtra has relied almost entirely on the version of four Judges of the Lower Court, two of whom were purportedly with Judge Loya on the fatal night in Nagpur. The claims of these Judges are, however, submitted before the Court without any affidavit by either of the Judges or any officer of the State. This, it says, discredits the claims made on behalf of the Judges, as “one cannot even be sure whether this was indeed the version given by those four judges”.
In arguendo, it further submits, “However even if one were to assume that this is the version of those judges and further that they are telling the truth, their account of Judge Loya’s death certainly does not prove that it was due to a heart attack. At best they say that he complained of chest pain, was taken to Dande Hospital, that he collapsed on the way from Dande Hospital to Meditrina Hospital and that he died either on the way or on arrival at Meditrina Hospital. This eye witness account could be consistent with various other causes of death including poisoning. Quite apart from this there are various other problems with the official version which has been pointed out by the other petitioners, that raise serious doubts with regard to the cause and circumstance of Judge Loya’s death.”