The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge BH Loya's death. SC called the PILs "scandalous" and "amounting to criminal contempt". The apex court said, "it cannot doubt the statements of the judicial officers who were with Loya".
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had earlier alleged foul play in the death of Judge Loya, called the SC order very unfortunate. He tweeted to express his anguish over the verdict which he claims has come despite the ECG & Histopath report falsifying the heart attack story as the reason for Judge Loya's death.
Meanwhile, Caravan magazine's executive editor, Vinod K Jose, tweeted that he stands by the 22 stories published in Caravan about the suspicions surrounding Judge Loya's death. The magazine had carried multiple stories on Judge Loya's family's allegations against the former chief justice of Bombay, Mohit Shah, for taking a bribe to deliver a judgement in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Judge Loya was heading a CBI probe in the case.
Former attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi, who had represented the State of Maharashtra, said that the apex court was “clear that there is no doubt over the cause of Judge Loya's death”. "These petitioners did not uphold the rule of law. Main aim was to attack some senior functionaries of the current government. There was no question of foul play. Petition had personal interest, not public interest", Rohatgi told ANI.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra held a joint press conference in Delhi to slam the Congress party for hegemonising the judiciary and questioning the judge's death for their political vendetta. Patra said that PILs are being used to settle political scores and this was an attempt by the Opposition to vitiate the atmosphere. "The people who have been politicising the judiciary for their own motives, now stand exposed", he said.
Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too hit out at Congress. "This case was not activated to serve public interest but to serve the interests of Congress and damage the interests of BJP, our party President Amit Shah in particular", Prasad said in a press conference. "Court said political battles must be fought on political grounds. It clearly means that the case was fought as political battle against our party President Amit Shah. I urge Rahul Gandhi not to fight political battles through corridors of Court", he added.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath told ANI that "The verdict in Judge Loya case has exposed the Congress once again. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of the country. They have tried to create such an environment that develops negative emotions. in people for the govt. I welcome the decision of SC."
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "An attempt to malign senior leaders of the party has failed, its clear that the judiciary cannot be made a field for political battles.
Minister of State, PMO Jitendra Singh said "If you're doubting credentials of the Judiciary, then you are also doubting the credentials of all the investigations & evidences. I think Rahul Gandhi should apologise to Amit Shah."
While, Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted, "Dispassionate analysis of Loya judgement must await its full reasoning. But unless logical reasons found in it, it will raise more questions and leave many unanswered."
Congress spokesperson Rajdeep Surjewal also hosted a press conference on the SC verdict and termed it as a "sad day in India's history". "The verdict marks a sad day in India's history. The Supreme Court verdict has left many questions unanswered. There were discrepancies in the post-mortem report, even in recording the name of the victim properly", he remarked.
But Congress's Salman Khurshid said that the judgement of the apex court should be respected. "Many-many people would be deeply disappointed but this is the Supreme Court & if Supreme Court takes a view we have to accept it and respect it.
However, Soli Sorabjee, former attorney general of India hailed the SC judgement."It is a good judgement It's a good precedent against PILs filed for the sake of 'publicity", Sorabjee told Times Now.
Prashant Rathi, the doctor who had received Judge Loya's body also welcomed the SC verdict. "Now that the truth has come out I am a relieved man. There was a time when my role was doubted. There should be no doubts & confusions after the SC's verdict, that has come today", he said.
Loya had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December 2014, when he was attending the wedding of a colleague's daughter. Loya's son had on 14 January said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.
Meanwhile, the website of the Supreme Court was hacked and at the time of writing, has yet to come back online.
Updated Date: Apr 19, 2018 18:48:59 IST