Death of Judge Loya: Ravi Bhawan employee’s police testimony casts doubt on judges’ statements relied on by SC

27 October 2018

A statement to the police by a room service staffer at Ravi Bhawan in Nagpur, who was on duty when the judge BH Loya is said to have checked in to the guest house, directly contradicts the accounts of two judges who accompanied him from Mumbai. These accounts form part of the basis for the Supreme Court judgment that upheld the Maharashtra state government’s claim that Loya died a natural death.

Two judges, Shrikant Kulkarni and SM Modak, said that they travelled with Loya in an overnight train from Mumbai to Nagpur. Both judges further stated that on arriving at Nagpur on the morning of 30 November, they had gone to Ravi Bhawan—the government guest house where Loya is said to have been staying at the time of his death. But according to a statement given by Tilak Narayan, then a member of the room service staff at Ravi Bhawan, to the Nagpur police, no judge came to Ravi Bhawan while he was on duty, till the afternoon on that day.

The statement, given to the police on 23 November 2017, is one of several documents attached with an application filed by Satish Uke, a lawyer and activist, before a Nagpur district court, seeking directions to Nagpur’s Ajni police station to investigate Loya’s death. Not only does it cast strong doubt on the veracity of the judges’ statements, it also suggests that the Maharashtra government deliberately suppressed this vital information from the Supreme Court.

Arshu John is a former assistant editor at The Caravan. Prior to that, he was an advocate practising criminal law in Delhi.

Aathira Konikkara is a staff writer at The Caravan.

Keywords: Loya BH Loya Ravi Bhawan SM Modak Satish Uke Shrikant Kulkarni Maharashtra Nagpur State Intelligence Department Bhushan Gavai