Three judges recuse themselves in Judge Loya case

Three judges recuse themselves in Judge Loya case

Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. PTI

Three judges of the of the Bombay High Court have recused themselves from hearing a petition filed by Nagpur-based lawyer Satish Uke alleging that special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who was presiding over the trial in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, was "poisoned" with a radioactive isotope.

Uke had filed the PIL before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court last week.

On Monday,  justice SB Shukre and justice SM Modak recused from hearing the petition filed by Uke, saying, "Not before us."

On Wednesday, the same petition came up before the bench of justice PN Deshmukh and justice Swapna Joshi, which stated, “Not before the bench of justice Swapna Joshi.”

Thus, justices Shukre, Modak and Joshi recused themselves from hearing the PIL, but have not assigned any reason.

It may be recalled that last year, speaking to a newspaper, justice Shukre had stated that there was nothing suspicious behind Judge Loya’s death and that doctors had done their best to save him.

On the other hand, Justice Modak was staying with Judge Loya along with Judge Shridhar Kulkarni at Ravi Bhavan Guest House in Nagpur’s civil lines area, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. He had died of a “heart attack” on December 1, 2014.

However, the reason for Justice Swapna Joshi’s recusal from the case was not known.

In his petition before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, advocate Uke has alleged that BJP president Amit Shah, one of the key accused in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case who was discharged later, had met Ratan Kumar Sinha, then Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, during the latter’s (Shah’s) visit to Nagpur in March 2015 for three days.

Among other things, Uke has also charged in his petition that his former colleagues, retired district judge Prakash Thombre and advocate Shrikant Khandalkar, had told him that Loya died due to poisoning from a radioactive isotope.

Judge Thombre and Khandalkar have died since in allegedly mysterious circumstances.

It may be recalled, the Supreme Court had earlier this year ruled that Judge Loya's death was natural.