People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 43

October 25, 2009


Investigate Key Figure�s Mysterious Death : AILU


The following is the press statement issued by AILU on 20 October

THE All India Lawyers Union views with grave concern the mysterious death of Ashutosh Asthana in Dasna Jail on 17.10.09. Asthana was an administrative Officer in Ghaziabad Courts and in the provident fund scam, he in his disclosure statement had named several High Court judges and one of a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court. The entire scam is being investigated by the CBI after the Bar Association of Ghaziabad approached the Supreme Court and elimination of the only key witness is bound to hamper the independent investigation since he had not been cross examined. It is also intriguing that the dead body of Asthana was cremated hurriedly without a proper post mortem and the investigating agency has to remain satisfied only with viscera. According to newspaper reports, wife of Asthana who also is in jail and other family members feel their lives to be in danger.

The AILU demands that the circumstances of the sudden death of Asthana should be thoroughly investigated without any interference from the high ups (including the judges) involved in the scam. The AILU also demands full protection for the family members of Asthana and other co-  accused so that they remain alive at least to depose in the courts during the trial.