Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday led a delegation of Opposition MPs to President Ram Nath Kovind, demanding a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation into justice BH Loya’s death.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi met reporters outside Rashtrapati Bhavan after the meeting, and said as many as 114 MPs from 15 parties had signed the memorandum.
Gandhi said Kovind had given the delegation a positive response. "We just want to have a proper investigation done by an independent structure that gives us the outcome,” he added.
In the four-page document, the MPs explained that "recent revelations" regarding the judge's death required investigation. They also pointed out that "two of Judge Loya's alleged confidants have also subsequently died in suspicious circumstances."
"We feel that there is suspicion in all these three cases," Rahul Gandhi told reporters. "And the country also feels it."
The MPs explained in their memorandum that they wanted "a thorough investigation through an SIT of independent officers selected and monitored by the Supreme Court."
"Neither the CBI not the NIA, considering their recent track record should be entrusted with the investigation," they wrote.
"Let the law take its own course...let the matter be investigated," Rahul Gandhi said today.
Two petitions asking for an investigation into Judge Loya's death are being heard by the Supreme Court. But senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal asserted, "This cannot be decided through public interest."
Sibal said apart from Judge Loya, two men he had reportedly confided in about pressure and threats died mysteriously.
Lawyer Shrikant Khandalkar fell to his death in 2015 from the sixth floor of the district court building, according to the opposition's appeal to the President, and in 2016, district judge Prakash Thombre fell from the top berth inside a train coach and his spine broke.
Justice Loya’s son recently said there was "nothing suspicious” about his father’s death and asked the media, politicians, lawyers and NGOs "not to harass” the family. The 21-year-old Anuj Loya told reporters that judge Loya’s death in December 2014 was "natural” and described it as a "sad and private matter”.
The Judge Loya case has become an important rallying point for the opposition against the government; the Congress says democracy cannot survive in a nation where lawyers and judges involved in important cases are targeted.
Brijgopal Harkishen Loya died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he went to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
At the time of his mysterious death, he was presiding over a special CBI court hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused. Shah was later discharged.
The issue of Loya's death came under the spotlight in November last year, after media reports quoting his sister fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his demise - and its link to the Sohrabuddin case.