“I Was Pressurised To Withdraw Loya Plea in SC” Says Congress leader

A Congress leader, who filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking an independent probe into the death of Special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harikishan Loya, said he was pressurised by a senior advocate to withdraw his petition.

Tehseen Poonawalla, said shortly before his plea was to be heard on Saturday morning in the court of Justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantangoudar, a senior advocate insisted that he pull out the plea.

Declining to name the lawyer, Poonawalla said “I have full faith in the judiciary. I have nothing to do with the politics surrounding the case. I was called names but I refused to back off.”

Meanwhile, the Bombay Lawyers association claimed that SC petition to probe the death of Justice Loya is motivated since it came after its plea filed earlier.

Justice  Loya had died under mysterious circumstances in 2014. While the Bombay Lawyers Association had filed their case on January 4, the case received a petition number from the registrar of the Bombay High Court only on the afternoon of January 12, after the four senior-most Supreme Court judges after the Chief Justice of India held an unprecedented revolt alleging impropriety in Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra’s assignment of cases.

“Our petition in the Bombay High Court was filed on January 4,” Ahmad Abdi, president of the Bombay Lawyers Association said. “This Delhi petition came later apparently aimed at  removing the case from the Bombay High Court and be heard at the Supreme Court instead.”

The backdrop
On Nov 23, 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was travelling on a public bus with his wife from Hyederabad to Sangli, Maharastra was taken away by Gujarat police ATS and killed three days later in the alleged staged encounter on a highway at Vishala Circle near Ahmedabad.

Sheikh’s wife Kauser Bi also disappeared the same day as his killing.  She was allegedly raped, strangulated and cremated in Illol,the native village of deputy commissioner of police DG vanzara later in the day.

A year later on Dec 26, 2006 Shekh’s associate Tulsiram Prajapati, a witness to Shekhi’s killing was also killed in another police encounter shooting.

CBI accused Amit Shah, then Home Minister of Gujarat, of ordering the extra-judicial killings in a fake encounter.

CBI Judge BH Loya was hearing the case  and had sternly warned Shah to appear before the court by December 31 2014. In  two weeks of the order, Justice Loya died in what the family claims to be a foul play.

Shekh apart from being involved in criminal extortion racket in Gujarat is claimed to have been involved in arms smuggling in Madhya Pradesh and has murder cases registered against him and purportedly has links with Laskhar-e-Taiba and the Pakistani Intelligence Agency.


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