Loya's Death: Citizens Appeal to Supreme Court to Reconsider Verdict, Say Rejection of Probe Does Not Satisfy People's Conscience

Initiated on 20 April, the online petition is addressed to all the judges of the Supreme Court, urging upon them to reconsider the verdict on the Judge Loya case. The full text is pasted below. 

 

To

The Hon'ble Chief Justice

& His Companion Justices

of the Supreme Court of India

Most Respectfully Sheweth:

We the undersigned citizens of India are deeply anguished by the order passed by a three judge bench of the Supreme Court that there is no merit in the writ petitions seeking an Inquiry into the death of Justice Brijgopal Harkishan Loya on December 1, 2014 at Nagpur.

The three judge bench has concluded that the documentary material on the record indicates that the death of Judge Loya was due to natural causes and that there is no ground for reasonable suspicion about the cause or circumstances of death which would merit a further inquiry.

This conclusion is based on the statements made by four judicial officers, Judge Shrikant Kulkarni (Member Secretary, Maharasthra State Legal Service Authority), Judge SM Modak (Principal District Judge, Pune), Judge Vijay C Barde (District Judge, City Civil Court, Mumbai) and Judge RR Rathi (District Judge, Baramati) to the Commissioner of the Maharashtra State Intelligence Department.

We note with grave concern that these four judicial officers were neither asked to submit affidavits before the Supreme Court during the proceedings, nor were any cross examination of their testimonies permitted. While there is no reason to doubt the integrity of judicial officers in general, we do not understand why the judicial officers in this case are being accorded special privilege when they have become witnesses in an investigation into a possible crime. 

The word of any witness should be cross-examined and verified following legal procedures, in order to establish its accuracy. The reason for the three judge bench of the Supreme Court to make exceptions in this case, just because the witnesses claiming to accompany Justice Loya at the time of his death are judicial officers, does not appear reasonable and fair.

We believe that the tragic death of Justice Loya and the apprehensions of foul play raised by members of his grief-stricken family have raised very serious questions regarding the independence of the Indian judiciary. Justice should not only be done in this case, but also seen to be done. We are sad to say that the three judge bench verdict does not satisfy people's conscience.

We appeal to you, as the prime custodians of our Constitution and the rule of law, to reconsider the three judge bench judgement and order a Supreme Court monitored investigation into Judge Loya's death. We seek the truth beyond reasonable doubt.

 

Signatories:

Achin Chakraborty, Director, IDSK

Albeena Shakil, Faculty Member, JGLU

Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, JNU

Amiya Bagchi, Former Director, IDSK

Anand Teltumbde, Writer and Civil Rights Activist

Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, JNU

Brij Tankha, Professor (Retd.), Delhi University

Debarshi Das, Faculty Member, IIT, Guwahati

Dhananjay Tripathi, Faculty Member, South Asia University

Fauzan Abrar, Faculty Member, JNU

Gouranga Dandapat, Theatre Director

Gouri Chatterjee, Senior Journalist and Author

Indranil Chowdhury, Faculty Member, PGDAV College, DU

Jayati Ghosh, Professor, JNU

Kamal Kabra, Professor, Institute of Social Sciences

Kumar Rana, Project Director, Pratichi Institute

Madhu Bhaduri, Former Diplomat

Maidul Islam, Faculty Member, CSSS

Nandini Sundar, Professor, DSE

Naveen Gaur, Faculty Member, Dyal Singh College, DU

Nissim Mannathukkaren, Faculty Member, Dalhousie University, Canada

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Senior Journalist and Author

Parimal Maya Sudhakar, Faculty Member, MIT School of Government, Pune

Pradeep Esteves, Development Activist, Timbaktu Collective

Rohit Azad, Faculty Member, JNU

Sanjaya Kumar Bohidar, Faculty Member, SRCC, DU

Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Faculty Member, Kirorimal College, DU

Shamsul Islam, Faculty Member (Retd.), Satyavati College, DU

Sheetanshu Kumar, Faculty Member, Assam University

Shirshendu Mukherjee, Management Consultant, London

Sougata Kerr, Senior Bank Executive, New Jersey

Srinivasan Ramani, Journalist

Subhanil Chowdhury, Faculty Member, IDSK

Sucharita Sen, Professor, JNU

Sudipta Bandyopadhyay, Faculty Member, University of Calcutta

Sumit Sarkar, Faculty Member, XLRI, Jamshedpur

Sunanda Sen, Professor (Retd.), JNU

Tripta Wahi, Faculty Member (Retd.), Hindu College, DU

Vijoo Krishnan, Joint Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha

Zoya Hasan, Professor, JNU

and many others

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