Over 100 Opposition MPs Demand Probe Into Judge Loya Death

Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with opposition leaders addresses a press conference after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi on Friday

The delegation presented a memorandum to the president signed by 114 lawmakers from 15 parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, NCP, DMK, RJD, AAP and the Left.

Asserting that they had no faith in either the CBI or the NIA, Opposition MPs on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind for a court-monitored SIT probe into the death of CBI Judge B.H. Loya who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the President, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: "We met the President over Judge Loya's death".

"To uphold the majesty of the law, we request you to intervene in the matter".

114 MPs from 15 parties seek Supreme Court-monitored probe into the CBI judge's death. The BSP is not a signatory to the petition. "They also want the matter to be probed by an independent SIT (special investigation team) but not by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or NIA (National Investigation Agency)".

The memorandum refers to the deaths of two confidants of Judge Loya under "suspicious circumstances".

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"We all owe it to the Judge and his family and to the system that the investigation should be done independently and effectively", Gandhi said. The Congress chief said that response of president was positive over the memorandum.

"Such a procedure will ensure the credibility of the institution in the eyes of the public. Either these judges will have to be believed or this court will have to say that they all are lying", senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, told a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

At the outset, Jaising referred to the first police report in the death of Loya, and said that requisites of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were not followed.

The memorandum said that before Judge Loya, Judge J.T. Utpat was the Special CBI Court presiding officer handling the case and he was suddenly transferred despite the apex court's direction that the assigned Judge will complete proceedings in the case. Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was an accused in the case but was later discharged.

The issue came under the spotlight in November previous year after media reports quoting his sister fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his death and its link to the Sohrabuddin case. The Congress said that Khandalkar' s body was found in the District Court, Nagpur, and he allegedly fell from the eighth floor of a building on November 29, 2015 and had been missing for two days.

Even the name of the deceased judge was "misspelt" in the records despite the claim that four judges accompanied him to hospitals and this gave rise to suspicion, she said. Sheikh was allegedly killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar.

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