As a three-judge Supreme Court bench continues hearing two PILs seeking an independent probe into BH Loya's death, a forensic expert has now told The Caravan that the judge did not die due to a heart attack, dismissing the official version in the case.
Dr RK Sharma, who has served as the head of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and is currently the president of the Indian Association of Medico-Legal Experts, reportedly made this claim after evaluating medical documents in the case, including the post-mortem report, the histopathology report, the viscera report as well as the findings of the chemical analysis on the late judge's viscera.
Dr Sharma said the documents instead suggest possible brain trauma and poisoning, reported The Caravan.
While some of these documents that were evaluated were accessed via RTI, others were part of the submission made by the Maharashtra government to the Supreme Court, The Caravan reported
Upon analysing these medical documents, Dr Sharma told The Caravan, “The situation presented in these documents necessitates an investigation.”
Judge Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter, in which BJP President Amit Shah was an accused, had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
The issue of Loya's death has been in the spotlight since November 2017, when The Caravan had published a report raising suspicions over the circumstances leading to his death.
Dr RK Sharma’s Case Against Heart Attack
The findings in this report have no suggestion of a heart-attack. They show changes, but not a heart-attack. 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.RK Sharama to The Caravan
“Loya is reported to have complained of feeling unwell at about 4 am on the night of his death, and was declared dead at 6.15 am,” The Caravan report says.
So that means two hours. 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.RK Sharma to The Caravan
Dr Sharma also told The Caravan that the congestion of dura, as suggested by the post-mortem report, indicates physical assault.
Dura matter 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.Dr RK Sharma to The Caravan
Dr Sharma also told The Caravan that there is a possibility of poisoning, adding that “every single organ is congested”. Not just the dura, the post-mortem report says various other organs, including the liver, pancreas, kidneys and lungs were "congested", The Caravan notes.
‘Lack of Consensus’ in Post-Mortem Report and the Viscera Report
Another aspect that the The Caravan has highlighted is the reported lack of consensus regarding "the condition of Loya's body and the probable cause of Loya's death" in the post-mortem report and the viscera report.
For instance, The Caravan reported that while the post-mortem report said that the stiffness in the body when it was being inspected was "slightly present in upper limbs (and) not appeared in lower limbs", the viscera report observed that the stiffness was "well marked". In the same manner, while the post-mortem report listed "coronory artery insufficiency" as the probable cause of the death, the viscera report called it "a case of sudden death", the magazine reported.
The Caravan pointed out that the standard procedure is for the viscera report to be based on the post-mortem report. Yet, in this case, despite the two reports being signed by one doctor of the Government Medical College in Nagpur, the magazine says there were significant contradictions.
When The Caravan reached out to the doctor in question, Dr NK Tumaram, he did not offer a comment, saying that the case was being heard by the court.