Fifteen political parties on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind for a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation team probe into the circumstances leading to the death of special CBI court judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya.
Justice Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. The leaders also cited how two of Justice Loya's confidants - Shrikant Khandalkar, a public spirited lawyer from Nagpur and Prakash Thombre - have also died under suspicious circumstances.
The Opposition petitioned the President for a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of judge Loya saying they have no faith in either the CBI or the NIA.
According to the news reported in Hindustan Times, a memorandum has been signed by MP's 114 MP's from 15 parties which include DMK, SP, Congress, AAP, RJD, Muslim league, AIUDF, CPI, CPM and others.
Telling the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud that the procedure followed was in violation of Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, senior counsel Indira Jaising took the court through the contradictions and discrepancies in the report submitted by Maharashtra government. "An FIR should have been filed in 2014 itself when the allegations were made because it is mandatory under the law, but till date there is no FIR", Sibal said.
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Jaising, who referred to sequence of events to highlight her submission that a probe was needed to rule out any foul play, alleged a trial court judge in the Sohrabuddin case was transferred in a "tearing hurry".
114 MPs from 15 parties seek Supreme Court-monitored probe into the CBI judge's death.
"For the Bombay High Court not to do so is a matter of grave concern", the letter added. Also, the memorandum read that "Such a procedure will ensure the credibility of the institution in the eyes of the public".
Loya's case came into the spotlight in November previous year when his family members raised questions about his death claiming that he was under tremendous pressure regarding the Soharabuddin case. "We sincerely hope you will use your good offices to serve the cause of justice", the MPs told the President. Asked why the Opposition approached the President when the matter was being heard by the Supreme Court, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "There is no investigation by the Supreme Court". "What is going on is Public Interest Litigation". "We don't believe in the CBI or the NIA", he said. "These matters can not be decided through a PIL", he said. The matter was leading to yellow journalism, Rohatgi said.