BH Marlapalle, a retired judge of the Bombay High Court, has written to Manjula Chellur, the chief justice of the high court, urging an “investigation by an SIT” into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the judge BH Loya. Marlapalle’s letter is dated 21 November—the day after The Caravan published a series of investigative reports on significant discrepancies between the reported account of Loya’s death, and the accounts of his family.
Marlapalle states in his letter that he “firmly” believed that this is a case fit for a probe by a special investigation team “irrespective of its outcome at this point of time.” He notes that the Supreme Court, while interpreting Article 235 of the constitution, has “repeatedly stated that the High Court is the guardian of the subordinate judiciary.” He goes on to state that “ordering an investigation by an SIT by registering this article”—referring to The Caravan’s reports—“as a PIL petition, will certainly make the subordinate court judges to believe that they are not orphans.”
At the time of his death, on the intervening night of 30 November and 1 December 2014, Loya was presiding over a Central Bureau of Investigation court that was hearing the case on the allegedly fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin. The accused persons in the case included Amit Shah, the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and several senior police officers from Gujarat.