The Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case was one of the most carefully watched cases in the country. Apart from being involved in criminal extortion racket in Gujrat, Sheikh was also claimed by the police to be associated with global terrorist organization ''Lashkar-e-Taiba'' and Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.
Sheikh was allegedly killed in a staged encounter by Gujrat's Anti-Terrorism Squad. The original inquiry accused at the behest of Bhartiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, who was then Home Minister of Gujarat. Shah was cleared of all charges in 2015.
The Supreme Court ordered the trial to be shifted to Maharashtra from Gujarat to preserve the integrity of the case. Brijgopal Loya, a 48-year-old judge presiding over the Sohrabuddin trial in the CBI special court in Mumbai, took over as the judge in the CBI special court after another judge had been transferred.
At the time of his death, the only case J. Loya was hearing was that of Sohrabuddin encounter case.
J. Loya died in Nagpur's on the morning of 1st December 2014. At the time of his death, J. Loya was in the city for a colleague's daughter's wedding. The family of the judge was informed that he died of cardiac-arrest in Nagpur.
Members of the family were informed by Ishwar Baheti, a worker of RSS. Hence, the family suspected involvement of Baheti from the beginning. Justice Loya's body was moved to Gategoan, his native place.
Family's suspicion initiated when they found out that dead body was sent unaccompanied by anyone along with the driver. Anuradha Biyani, judge's sister claims that there was blood on his collar, his shirt and his belt was twisted.
The family also said that post-mortem report was not accompanied by proper panchanama or a medico-legal certificate. To add to this chaotic confusion, the post-mortem report was signed by J. Loya's paternal cousin, but judge's father denied any such relationship and claimed it is an unknown person who signed it.
Also, the time of death on the document does not match with other numerous details.
J. Loya's phone, from which he last called his family from Nagpur was also returned to the family by Baheti and not by the police.
His family did not speak to media as they were under tremendous fear, also, the reports couldn't attract much media attention then.
According to the Caravan report, even Sheikh's brother expressed shock at Loya's death in a letter. The family has asked for the inquiry commission to investigate J.Loya's death, but it was never taken up.
The Caravan journalist Niranjan Takle revealed on Monday that, the CBI special court judge was offered 100cr and a house in Mumbai in return for the favorable judgment by Mohit Shah.
Judge's sister Anuradha Biyani claims that the bribe was offered by the. then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court himself. Father of J. Loya supports the claim by saying that, his son preferred to seek retirement or transfer over such bribe.
Know more about this issue in this video: