Signs Of Physical Assault & Poisoning On Judge Loya's Dead Body, Says Top Forensic Expert To The Caravan
Adding to the mysteries surrounding the death of special CBI Judge B H Loya, foremost is the forensic report analysed by Dr R K Sharma – the former head of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department at AIIMS, Delhi, and the president of the Indian Association of Medico-Legal Experts for 22 years. He has dismissed the official claim that suggested the judge died of a heart attack, according to The Caravan. Documents show signs of possible trauma to the brain, and even possible poisoning, per Sharma.
Sharma studied Loya’s reports (post-mortem and related histopathology), some of which had been procured through Right to Information applications and others were documents placed by the Maharashtra government before the Supreme Court in support of a report by Maharashtra’s State Intelligence Department that concludes there is no cause for suspicion regarding Loya’s death. He gave his expert opinion to The Caravan which contradicts this conclusion.
“There is no evidence of myocardial infarction in the histopathology report,” Sharma said. “The findings in this report have no suggestion of a heart-attack. They show changes, but not a heart attack,” he said.
“The post-mortem report also says that calcification is observed in the vessels. Where there is calcification, there is no heart attack. Once the vessels have calcified they will never block the flow of blood,” Sharma added.
It was earlier said that judge Loya complained of chest pain at about 4 am and was taken to the hospital where he died of cardiac arrest at 6:15 am. “So that means two hours,” Sharma said. “If one is alive for more than 30 minutes after the symptoms [of a heart attack] show, the condition of the heart will have clear changes. No clear changes can be seen here.”
The post-mortem report states that the probable cause of death was “coronary artery insufficiency.” Sharma said that “there are changes observed in heart in these documents, but none of them are conclusive enough to show ‘Coronary Artery Insufficiency.’ Every patient who goes for a bypass surgery will have these symptoms.”
Signs of physical assault on Loya’s head, says Sharma
The doctor said that according to Loya’s post-mortem report, dura is congested. “Dura mater is the outermost layer that surrounds our brain. It is damaged in cases of trauma, which indicates some kind of an assault on the brain. A physical assault.”
Loya’s sister Anuradha Biyani, who is also a doctor, had earlier told The Caravan that when she saw her brother’s dead body, she felt something was amiss. Loya had bloodstains on his neck and at the back of his shirt, his belt was twisted and the pant clip broken. She added that his spectacles were below the neck. Madhane, another sister of Loya, too saw the blood on the neck and added that there was an injury on his head.
But in the post-mortem report, issued by the Government Medical College Hospital in Nagpur, under a category described as “Condition of the clothes—whether wet with water, stained with blood or soiled with vomit or foecal matter,” a handwritten entry reads, simply, “Dry.”
Possibility of poisoning, says Sharma
The post-mortem report does not record precisely how much congestion of dura was observed. Sharma said he found it strange that “the reason why dura is congested is not written.”
“There is a possibility of poisoning,” Sharma continued, looking at the post-mortem report. “Every single organ is congested.” The organs recorded as “congested” in the report include the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, oesophagus and lungs, among others.
The earlier chemical analysis of Loya’s viscera samples was performed at the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory in Nagpur and submitted 50 days after the judge’s death. It did not identify any poison. “Why did it take so long for the analysis,” Sharma asked. “It generally takes a day or two [to complete the analysis].”
In a field titled “opinion as to the probable cause of death,” the post-mortem report states, “Coronary artery insufficiency.” Under the same field, the viscera report and notes, “A case of sudden death.” In a field titled “Story of case,” the viscera report states, “A case of natural death,” with the words “natural death” underlined—and yet a report of accidental death had earlier been registered at the Sitabuldi police station before it sent Loya’s body for a post-mortem. Both the post-mortem report and the viscera report were prepared at the Government Medical College in Nagpur.
Why was judge Loya charged for “neurosurgery”?: Bombay Lawyers’ Association
When justice Loya allegedly complained of chest pain on the night of November 30, 2014 in Nagpur, he was first taken to Dande Hospital. The judge’s sister, Anuradha Biyani, said that the ECG” — the electrocardiography unit at the facility — “was not working”.
Later, The Indian Express reported that it obtained a copy of an ECG dated November 30 and the machine. Judge Loya was admitted to the hospital on December 1, but the ECG was backdated due to “technical glitch”, the hospital told The Indian Express.
However, the set of documents provided by the Maharashtra government to the petitioners seeking an independent investigation do not contain the ECG report. The ECG is mentioned in the “Doctor’s Progress Notes” by the Meditrina Hospital in Nagpur, the hospital where Loya was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation and was later declared as “brought dead”.
Furthermore, there was no medical bill to back up the ECG at Dande. But the Meditrina Hospital bill has two peculiar entries. Judge Loya was charged for “neurosurgery” and “diet consultation”.
Advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the Bombay Lawyers’ Association in the case, asked why Loya was charged for “neurosurgery” when he was said to have been taken to the hospital for a heart attack. Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state, said this was because all attempts were made to revive the judge.
Loya was the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge presiding over the trail of BJP top chief Amit Shah and several top officers in the Gujarat police for the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi in 2005. Shah was arrested by the CBI in July 2010 in connection with the alleged staged shooting.
Loya had taken over the trial after Justice JT Utpat, the judge who first heard the trial, was transferred from the CBI special court in mid-2014, in violation of the Supreme Court order which said that the trial be heard by the same judge from start to finish. Loya died on 1 December 2014 of an alleged cardiac arrest. Later the same year, Amit Shah was discharged by the Mumbai special CBI court.
An investigative report in The Caravan in November last year pointed at blatant inconsistencies in the judge’s death, bringing the case back to headlines. Loya’s sister alleged that the then Chief Justice of Bombay high court had offered Loya a bribe of Rs 100 crore in return for a favourable judgement. The Caravan’s report was contradicted by a report in The Indian Express.
Read The Caravan’s original report here.