Mumbai: The Bombay Lawyers Association (BLA) on Monday filed a petition in the Bombay High Court demanding an enquiry commission to probe the death of CBI Special Court Additional Sessions Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who presided over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
“We have filed it today and shall mention it before the Chief Justice on Wednesday for fixing a hearing date. If not, we shall have to wait for it to come up in the normal course, which can take time,” BLA lawyer Ahmad Abdi told IANS.
The BLA has urged the court to “constitute a commission of enquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the events and circumstances surrounding the death of Judge Loya”.
The plea came in the wake of a report published in a newsmagazine ‘Caravan’ in its November 21, 2017 edition, the BLA said, requesting it to be treated as a public interest litigation (PIL).
The BLA has made the Maharashtra government, the Registrar-General, the journalist who investigated and wrote the story and the magazine as respondents.
The petition has mentioned several media reports since the controversy over Judge Loya’s death first erupted after the Caravan news reports.
Earlier, several legal luminaries including former Supreme Court Judge Justice P.B. Sawant, retired Bombay High Court judges B.G. Kolse-Patil, B.H. Marlapalle, A.P. Shah and others sought an independent probe into the matter.
“If independence and integrity of the judiciary is to be preserved, then the death of Judge Loya and the circumstances surrounding the same should be thoroughly investigated,” the BLA petition states.
According to the BLA petition citing news reports and Caravan investigations, Judge Loya died of heart attack on December 1, 2014 while on a visit to Nagpur.
At that time, he was handling the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which the Bharatiya Janata President Amit Shah was one of the accused and later discharged, besides other top Gujarat police officers among the accused.