Death of CBI Judge B H Loya: Demanding a time-bound Public Enquiry Commission

We, the citizens of India, have been perturbed by the reports surrounding the death of CBI Judge B.H. Loya who was presiding over the trial of Sohrabuddin murder case. It is disturbing for us to note that other than multiple conflicting versions of the circumstances of Judge Loya’s death, there have been allegations of undue pressure exerted upon and allurement offered to the deceased judge. The late judge was hearing an important case, which was based on the findings of a Supreme Court mandated Special Investigation Team (SIT) and involved powerful political personalities. There has, however, been no attempt by any institution of the state to get to the truth of the matter.

The report on The Caravan website, has the testimony of the sister and father of the deceased judge, making specific allegations regarding the pressure on the late judge and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. It also carried the facsimile of the letter written by the son of the late judge to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay asking for an enquiry into the whole affair. The letter very clearly mentions that the family fears for its life because of the politically sensitive nature of the case being heard by the deceased judge.

After this report different versions have  appeared in other newspapers and news websites. They rather than clearing the air have only deepened the doubts and raised more questions.

We are especially concerned that despite calls for a Judicial Enquiry, a response by the institution has been marked by its absence. There has been no attempt to take it up as a suo-moto affair. It would not be inaccurate to say that among our most powerful and respected institutions, is not keen or able to look after its own – its Judges.

This has raised serious questions about the credibility of our institutions and has grave ramifications for the future of our democratic system. The faith of the general public stands shaken.

It is imperative, therefore, that an impartial, transparent and credible enquiry is instituted in order to bring complete facts to light and thereby restore confidence, faith and belief in the hearts and minds of the people. As neither the government nor the judiciary has shown any inclination to move in this direction, we as citizens of the Indian Republic feel that it is our responsibility to find the truth.

This can be best achieved by instituting a time-bound public enquiry commission comprising of persons of impeccable integrity who are associated with and understand the field of law and policing.

Apoorvanand, Academic and Writer, University of Delhi
Ashok Vajpeyi, Poet
Githa Hariharan, Novelist
Natasha Badhwar, Writer
Priya Ramani, Writer
Rajmohan Gandhi, Historian, Writer