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Judge Loya death: ‘Issues raised in petitions are serious, we must look into documents with utmost seriousness’, says SC

Justice Dipak Misra.

By Muslim Mirror News,

New Delhi: The Supreme Court would look into the records related to the mysterious death of Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya who was hearing Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President and then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was an accused.

Loya “as of today” died of hear attack on December 1, 2014 while attending a wedding in Nagpur. There are many inconsistencies in the factual scenario surrounding the death. Shah was subsequently discharged from the case by the judge who took over the case after judge Loya’s death.

“Let us have full documents. Let it never be on our conscience that we didn’t look at what we should have,” Justice DY Chandrachud said adding that “we must look at facts”. The court asked all parties to file all documents relating to Judge Loya’s death.

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Though Loya’s son Anuj Loya recently told the media that he did not want an investigation into the matter, but the judge’s brother and sister had demanded a probe into the death.

A three judge bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra today described the case as “serious” and transferred two cases from the Bombay high court (HC) to itself. The court has posted the matter for hearing on February 2. “The issues raised in the current petitions are serious and we must look into all documents with utmost seriousness,” said the SC.

The apex court also asked other high courts of the country not to entertain any Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on the issue. A PIL seeking an investigation into the judge’s death was filed before the Bombay High Court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA).

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the BLA, said the documents produced by Maharahstra were incomplete. In fact, he said he had documents obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) to show there were indeed suspicious circumstances attached to judge Loya’s death.

The entire arguments in the top court today was based on principle and nothing on legalities of the matter. Advocate Dave said Advocate Harish Salve, who is representing the Maharshtra government, cannot appear for the State of Maharashtra as the latter was Shah’s counsel in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

“It is conflict of interest,” said Dave to which Salve retorted, “I don’t want any certificate from Dave.”

Today’s hearing witnessed another tense moments when the Chief Justice ordered senior lawyer Indira Jaising to apologise for inferring that the court would gag the media. “Did I utter a single word on a gag? This is not fair to me. You must withdraw unconditionally. We haven’t passed any orders on gag. We are only discussing. You will never do it. I said on the other day don’t gag the press. I am really hurt,” he said.

The CJI-led bench started hearing the pleas following the recusal last week by another SC bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The recusal last week came after four of the most senior SC judges – Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph – alleged that the Chief Justice was arbitrarily assigning important politically sensitive cases to select benches headed by junior judges.

The Judge Loya case was one of many contentious issues brought up in the January 13 press briefing by the four judges. They alleged the CJI was assigning cases to benches of his personal preference.

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