Death of Judge Loya: Medical Documents Rule Out Heart Attack, Says Leading Forensic Expert

11 February 2018

After examining medical documents pertaining to the death of the judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, one of India’s foremost forensic experts, Dr RK Sharma—the former head of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, and the president of the Indian Association of Medico-Legal Experts for 22 years—has dismissed the official claim that Loya died of a heart attack. According to Sharma, the documents show signs of possible trauma to the brain, and even possible poisoning.

Sharma spoke to The Caravan after studying Loya’s post-mortem report and related histopathology report, a report that accompanied samples of Loya’s viscera that were sent for chemical analysis, and the results of the chemical analysis. Some of these documents have been procured through Right to Information applications, and others have been submitted to the Supreme Courtby the government of Maharashtra in support of a report by Maharashtra’s State Intelligence Department that concludes there is no cause for suspicion regarding Loya’s death. Sharma’s expert opinion contradicts this conclusion.

“There is no evidence of myocardial infarction in the histopathology report,” Sharma said. “The findings in this report have no suggestion of a heart-attack. They show changes, but not a heart attack.”

Sharma observed, “The post-mortem report also says that calcification is observed in the vessels. Where there is calcification, there is no heart attack. Once the vessels have calcified they will never block the flow of blood.”

Loya is reported to have complained of feeling unwell at about 4 am on the night of his death, and was declared dead at 6.15 am. “So that means two hours,” Sharma said. “If one is alive for more than 30 minutes after the symptoms [of a heart attack] show, the condition of the heart will have clear changes. No clear changes can be seen here.”

Atul Dev is a staff writer at The Caravan. He can be reached at atul.caravan@gmail.com.

Keywords: Supreme Court BH Loya
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