Death of Judge Loya: Government documents placed before Supreme Court raise more questions, deepen the mystery

26 January 2018
Narendra Bisht/ The India Today Group/ Getty Images

Documents submitted to the Supreme Court by the state of Maharashtra as part of hearings regarding the death of the judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya contradict each other on multiple counts. The papers have been submitted alongside a report prepared for the additional chief secretary of the home ministry of Maharashtra by Sanjay Barve, the commissioner of Maharashtra’s State Intelligence Department, or SID. Copies of the documents were handed over to petitioners asking for an investigation into Loya’s mysterious death in Nagpur in 2014. The papers raise further questions about the circumstances of the case, and fail to resolve any of the troubling discrepancies already exposed in the matter by The Caravan. They also suggest a concerted bid to manipulate records to create a narrative that Loya died of a natural heart attack.

STATEMENT ASSERTS THAT ECG MACHINE AT DANDE HOSPITAL WAS NOT WORKING

The submitted documents include statements from four judges—Shrikant Kulkarni, SM Modak, VC Barde and Roopesh Rathi—who claim to have been with Loya in his last hours. None of these judges had previously spoken or submitted statements on the case. A handwritten statement given to the SID by Rathi, who says he was working in Nagpur in 2014, states that the ECG machine at Dande Hospital was not working when Loya was taken there on the night he died.

Rathi’s statement says that Dande Hospital “was on 1st floor and so we all climbed stairs and went there. One assistant doctor was present there. Mr. Loya complained about severe chest pain. His face was sweating & he was continually telling about more chest pain and heart burn. At that time the doctor tried to do his ECG but the nodes of ECG machine were broken. Doctor tried and wasted some time but machine was not working.” In the copy of Rathi’s two-page statement submitted to the Supreme Court, these lines appear at the bottom of the first page. It is evident that the text has been abruptly cut off on this page of the copy produced to the petitioners by the state of Maharashtra.

Judge Rathi’s statement agrees with what Loya’s sister Dr Anuradha Biyani told The Caravan, as reported in November 2017. Biyani said that, soon after Loya’s death, the judge’s family was informed that no ECG test was performed on him at Dande Hospital because “the ECG was not working.”

Atul Dev is a staff writer at The Caravan. 

Keywords: Maharashtra death Supreme Court of India BH Loya Bombay High Court PIL
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