MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Government is open to reinvestigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Judge BH Loya in December 2014. Talking to select journalists at the state secretariat on Thursday, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the government had received fresh evidence from someone connected to the case and was examining them.
“We are examining these documents. If they throw up any new information and evidence then the Judge BH Loya case will be re-opened and investigated again,” Deshmukh said. Judge Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case when he died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, while attending the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
It was then alleged that there was a conspiracy behind his death. Sources in the home department said Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar had collected documents related to the case and had asked senior bureaucrats to examine them. “New facts have emerged during its examination and proper analysis is being done. Parallel investigations by Pawar’s team and the police have been on for some time,” they said. The sources said a closed case could be re-opened in two ways: if new facts emerge to reinforce circumstantial evidence and if there is a change in statements by witnesses in the case.
The NCP has earlier stated that the high profile case was not probed properly and the evidence was shoddily treated to favour particular people in the government. Deshmukh’s statement drew a sharp reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Party leader Ashish Shelar said the minister’s comments on re-opening the case were politically-loaded.
“The SC has already closed the case. Nothing new has emerged. Now, the government is making statement after statement saying it’s reopening the Loya case. As a government, they have full right to do so but there should not be any political vendetta behind it,” Shelar said. Pawar has been highly critical of the BJP ever since the Enforcement Directorate registered a case against him in connection with alleged fraud in the Maharashtra co-operative banks.