Loya Case: New petition alleges death by radioactive poisoning

Advocate Satish Uke has filed a fresh criminal writ petition before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court alleging that Judge BH Loya died due to radioactive isotope poisoning. The petition seeks to reopen the probe into the controversial death of the CBI judge after the Supreme Court dismissed an earlier petition seeking an independent probe into the same.

“I don’t know whether I will be alive tomorrow. Records related to Judge Loya’s death were destroyed but we have recovered documents through other departments, which I have submitted with the petition. My appeal to the court is to ensure that the documents are protected so that the investigation can be carried out even if I am dead,” Satish Mahadeorao Uke, the petitioner and a Nagpur-based advocate, told The Telegraph.

This is not the first time these allegations have been made by Uke. He had previously filed a petition wherein similar allegations of receiving threats and the mysterious deaths of his colleague advocate Khandalkar and Judge Loya have been mentioned.

Justice Loya was hearing the case regarding the death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, who was killed in a police encounter when Amit Shah, president of the ruling BJP, was the home minister of Gujarat. Shah was eventually discharged in the case by another judge appointed to replace Loya.

Loya died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on Dec. 1, 2014, while visiting the city to attend a wedding, according to the Maharashtra Police. The controversy surrounding his death created a political fire storm with allegations that Amit Shah played a role in the “suspicious and untimely” demise of Loya.

Consequent media reports alleged foul play in the death of Judge Loya subsequent to which the Bombay Lawyers’ Association and a petitioner by the name of Suryakant approached the Bombay High Court seeking an inquiry into the circumstances into the death of the judge.

The case was first to be heard by Supreme Court Justice Arun Mishra but following a controversy on alleged arbitrary allocation of cases, the case was eventually heard by the bench led by then Cheif Justice Deepak Mishra. The apex court, in its judgement on 19 April,  stated that it found no foul play in the death of Justice Loya.

Prashant Bhushan, counsel for one of the petitioners, called the verdict “very wrong” and “a black day in the history of Supreme Court”.

Mukul Rohatgi, counsel for the state and former attorney general of India, said there was no merit in the petitions and these were “motivated”. “These petitions were filed more than two years after the death of the Judge. It was only a charade in the name of independence of judiciary, etc. The real motive was to attack a gentleman who is a senior functionary in the current government. It was an open and shut case,” he said.

“We have further evidence regarding Judge Loya’s death which will be submitted before the high court later,” Uke said. The new petition which was filed on Monday is yet to be taken up for hearing by the high court.