Justice Loya death hearing Latest Updates: Reactions came in from all political quarters as the Supreme Court dismissed all PILs seeking a SIT probe in Judge Loya's death on Thursday. While BJP was quick to circle-in Congress over their "political motives" to raise suspicion over Loya's death, the Opposition showed disappointment over the verdict and termed it as a "black day" for the judiciary.
Earlier, reacting to the Supreme Court ruling, the executive editor of The Caravan tweeted and said that the magazine stands by "all 22 stories" that they did on Judge BH Loya and death. Vinod K Jose wrote: "Will have to wait till one reads the whole judgment on the specifics. But Caravan magazine stands by each of its 22 stories. The stories speak for itself. And we will follow journalistically the qns that continue to puzzle the circumstances of Judge Loya’s death."
Addressing the media, lawyer Prashant Bhushan said that the Supreme Court has rejected all the petitions seeking independent probe into Justice BH Loya's death. "Despite all the evidences presented in front of the court, the bench still rejected all the peitions. It's a black day," says Prashant Bhushan.
If a district judge dies under suspicious conditions and the petitioners demand an independent probe, how is that political in nature, asks Bhushan. "It's a wrong decision according to me and I think it's a black day in the history of Supreme Court of India," Bhushan further adds.
Supreme Court of India has dismissed all writ petitions which sought independent probe in Judge Loya's death. Live Law reported that the three-judge bench comrising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar pronounced the verdict and also made several observations.
Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising and V Giri had appeared on behalf of the Bombay Lawyers’ Association, Former chief of the navy Admiral L Ramdas, an intervenor, and Activist Tehseen Poonawalla respectively. Slamming the petitions and calling them scandalous in nature, the Supreme Court said that the attempt of the petitioners was to malign the judiciary.
Special CBI judge BH Loya died in December 2014 while hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. However, a clutch of petitions were filed before the apex court, calling for an inquiry into Loya's death. The court had said it would order an investigation if there was ground for suspicion.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had on 16 March reserved the judgement on the pleas. Loya had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014, when he was attending the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
As reported by NDTV, the court in February this year said it was looking into "every aspect of the documents and material in minute detail" after it was asked to order an investigation in "public interest" by the lawyer representing the petitioners.
File image of CBI judge BH Loya. Image courtesy: Facebook
The Maharashtra government had argued in the court that all pleas seeking an independent probe into Loya's death were motivated and aimed at targeting "one individual" in the guise of upholding the rule of law. It had come down heavily on alleged accusations, bullying and browbeating of judges in the top court by some activist lawyers in the Loya case and said that the judiciary and judicial officers need to be saved from such averments.
Meanwhile, those seeking an independent probe into the matter had referred to the sequence of events to highlight that a fair investigation was needed to rule out any foul play in the death. The issue of Loya's death had come under spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister had fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding it and its link to the Sohrabuddin case. But Loya's son had on 14 January said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.
In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, BJP president Amit Shah along with Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief PC Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and NK Amin have already been discharged.
Several accused, including police personnel, are currently facing trial for their involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their associate Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat in November 2005. The case was later transferred to CBI and the trial shifted to Mumbai.
A batch of pleas, including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based BS Lone, was filed in the top court seeking an independent probe into Loya's death in 2014.
Four senior-most apex court judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — at their 12 January press conference had questioned the manner in which sensitive cases were being allocated and Loya's case was one of them.
Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 20:11 PM