Oppn MPs meet Prez, seek SC-led probe into Loya case

Oppn MPs meet Prez, seek SC-led probe into Loya case

Over 100 MPs, led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind for an independent Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the death of special judge B H Loya and his two associates, making clear their lack of faith in the CBI and the NIA.

A memorandum signed by 114 MPs from 15 Opposition parties was handed over to the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by a multi-party delegation led by Gandhi that included representatives from Congress, CPM, CPI, Trinamool Congress, AAP among others.

"A large number of MPs feel suspicious and uneasy over the death of judge Loya and two others. They wanted an independent probe and did not want the investigation to be handed over to the CBI," Gandhi told reporters. He was flanked by senior leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, D Raja, T K Rangarajan and Idris Ali.

Gandhi said the president gave them a positive response.

Judge Loya was handling the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh at the time of this death on December 1, 2014. BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused in the case. He was subsequently discharged citing lack of evidence.

Loya's case came into the spotlight in November last year when his family members raised questions about his death claiming that he was under tremendous pressure regarding the Soharabuddin case.

The Supreme Court is hearing a public interest litigation that seeks an independent probe into judge Loya's case.

"This cannot be decided through public interest," senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters and demanded a Special Investigation Team of officers selected by the Supreme Court.

"There should be an SIT (Special Investigation Team) but not of CBI officials. We don't trust the CBI or NIA (National Investigation Agency) because we know what CBI and NIA officials do," Sibal said, referring to the 2G spectrum allocation case in which a special court let off all accused including former communications minister A Raja.

"Such a procedure will ensure the credibility of the institution in the eyes of the public. We sincerely hope you will use your good offices to serve the cause of justice," the MPs told the President.

The memorandum also mentioned that two confidants of Loya - lawyer Shrikant Khandalkar and retired district judge Prakash Thombre - also died under suspicious circumstances.

"We believe that if lives of judges and lawyers are jeopardised for doing their duty, then democracy is under grave threat. Recently, four senior-most puisne judges of the Supreme Court also expressed the sentiment that democracy was in peril," the MPs said, referring to the sensational press conference by Supreme Court judges last month that brought to the fore differences in the top judiciary.

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