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‘Sad letter day’ in India’s history: Congress

New Delhi, April 19: Rejecting the “natural death” theory of judge B.H. Loya based on which the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a SIT probe, the Congress said it is “sad letter day” in India’s history and reiterated its demand for a “fair” investigation. “Today is a ‘Sad Letter Day’ in India’s history. Congress is committed to people’s demand for a fair investigation in the matter surrounding Judge Loya’s death,” said Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala.
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking a SIT probe into the death of Judge Loya who was earlier holding trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case, holding he had a natural death. Surjewala maintained that not even judiciary can decide whether a death is natural or not without an investigation, while targeting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it was afraid of getting an investigation done. He said Judge Loya’s “suspicious death” at a Nagpur guesthouse in November 2014 had anguished many for he was trying a case where one of the accused was (now) BJP President Amit Shah, and the apex court’s verdict left many questions unanswered for all those seeking fair investigation and justice. After Loya’s death, Amit Shah was discharged and CBI refused to file an appeal against it, he said.
Listing the chain of events leading to Judge Loya’s “mysterious death” and all the apprehensions expressed by members of his family, judges, jurists, the bar, media and people at large hinting at a conspiracy, Surjewala also noted that the matter was even raised by the four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court in their unprecedented press conference.
He questioned the rationale behind using statements of some judges in an administrative enquiry before a police officer as the sole yardstick for arriving at a conclusion, particularly when suspicion was being raised by forensic evidence, witnesses, as well as withdrawal of the judge’s security, the lack of his travel records and no entry in the guesthouse’s register – while 15 different employees at the Nagpur guesthouse did not even recall that Judge Loya even came there. Surjewala also said that even Loya’s family had publicly stated that clothes on his body were blood-stained. He also noted two associates of Judge Loya who were allegedly informed about the pressure being mounted on him to let off the accused also died under suspicious circumstances in 2015 and 2016, but no case had been filed or investigation done, while a third narrowly escaped.
Surjewala also said BJP’s attempts to make false political capital out of Supreme Court judgment must be condemned, as the Congress was not a petitioner. “For a vile BJP to misinterpret SC’s judgement to attack the Congress reflects their jitteriness and frustration,” he said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita