The son of a judge who died in December 2014 while hearing a case in which Amit Shah, the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was an accused, said his father's death did not occur under suspicious circumstances. At a press conference on Sunday, Anuj Loya, the young son of late Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Brijmohan Loya, said he had no "doubts about the way he (Loya) died" and requested media to leave his family alone.
Shah, who was accused of ordering the extrajudicial killings of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife and his friend, was acquitted of all three murders on 30 December, 2014, due to lack of evidence.
"I had an emotional turmoil, hence I had suspicions about his death. But now we don't have any doubts about the way he died," Anuj Loya told reporters. Loya, 48, died of a cardiac arrest while attending a wedding in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014, days before Shah was given a clean chit.
"Earlier my grandfather and aunt had some doubts about his death, which they shared. But now neither of them have any doubts," PTI quoted Anuj as saying. "We faced some pressure from politicians and NGOs. We don't want to name anyone, but please excuse my family from continuously asking about my father's death," the 21-year-old law student said.
He was accompanied by advocate Ameet Naik, cousin Pratik Bhandari, and family friend and former Mumbai district judge KB Katke.
"We approached advocate Ameet Naik as we wanted to brief the media," Anuj said, adding that the Loyas have accepted "that the (judge's) death was due to heart attack", reported Times of India.
However, Shrinivas Loya, the 81-year-old paternal uncle of judge Loya, told The Caravan magazine that Anuj was "too young" and likely "under pressure", pressing that an inquiry be conducted into the death of the judge.
"If you ask me as a citizen, not as a relative. My view as a citizen is the inquiry initiated in the Supreme Court has to proceed. This is my personal view as a citizen," he told the magazine.
At an unprecedented press conference in the national capital, four sitting judges of the Supreme Court broke rank with the sitting Chief Justice of India, and raised concerns about the "administration" of the apex court. They criticized the way judicial appointments were handled and expressed reservations about distribution of important cases. Justice Jasti Chelameswar, one of the four judges who addressed the press, warned that the nation's democracy was under threat.
Following the public outburst by Justice Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Madan Lokur, four former senior judges on Sunday released a letter in support
"We agree with the four judges that though the chief justice of India is the master of roster and can designate benches for allocation of work, this does not mean that it can be done in an arbitrary manner such that sensitive and important cases are sent to hand-picked benches of junior judges by the chief justice," the former judges said in the open letter.
Prime Minister Modi held an emergency meeting with his law minister following the press conference but the government has refused to comment, reported Reuters.