SC terms CBI judge BH Loya's death a 'serious matter', asks Maharashtra govt to file response on pleas seeking independent probe
The Supreme Court on Friday termed as a 'serious matter' the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday termed as a "serious matter" the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, and sought response from Maharashtra government on pleas seeking an independent probe into it.
The top court said, "This matter requires bi-party hearing rather than ex parte".
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar asked Maharashtra government counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar to file reply by 15 January.
At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay lawyers association, said the high court is seized of the matter and the apex court should not hear the pleas.
"The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter. If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the high court," Dave said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for one of the petitioners Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone, said that she has also instructions from Bombay lawyers association that this matter should not be heard by the top court.
The bench, however, said it will look into the petitions but will also consider the objections raised.
Advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for another petitioner Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, said this is a case where a mysterious death of a judge has taken place on 1 December, 2014 and it needs to be investigated.
The bench then asked Katneshwarkar to file the post mortem report and other relevant documents regarding the death of Judge Loya besides taking instruction from the government.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 15 January.
Loya had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
This comes after the bench took serious note of the fact that the son took his mother who is also virtually immobile to a registrar's office in Motihari, Bihar, to get her thumb impression to allegedly sell off her properties worth Rs 2 crore
Her comment came a day after Supreme Court in a landmark order put on hold the controversial sedition law till the Centre completes a promised review of the colonial relic and also asked the central and state governments not to register any fresh case invoking the act
The colonial-era sedition law has been invoked against the likes of author Arundhati Roy, student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and cartoonist Aseem Trivedi among others