No independent probe into Judge Loya's death case, SC says pleas 'scandalous'

20 April, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • SC rules out investigation into Judge Loya’s death

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said there was no reason to doubt the statements of four judges on the circumstances leading to Loya's death and the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the death was due to natural cause. The Bench had reserved the judgment on the pleas on March 16. "This would be in the larger public interest, to uphold the independence and integrity of the institution", the court said.

Quoting from the apex court order, he said the verdict answered all the questions raised by the Congress and the petitioners, whom he accused of acting as a "front" of, or being in close cooperation with, the main Opposition party.

"The SC while dismissing the petition seeking independent investigation into Judge Loya's death, said that "Judges can't lie".

The petitions did not believe that Loya died of heart attack.

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Alleging that the "invisible hand" behind these petitions was of Gandhi and the Congress, Patra said the Congress chief should be "ashamed" for what he described as a conspiracy to target Shah, the Indian judiciary and the country's democracy.

Loya's death had come under spotlight in November, 2017 after his sister came out in public, raising suspicion about the circumstances surrounding it and its link to the Sohrabuddin case.

The reason for some petitioners suspecting that the judge's death was "mysterious" is linked to Loya being the judge hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh "fake encounter" killing case.

"There is a grave danger that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue, it would seriously denude the efficacy of the judicial system by detracting from the ability of the court to devote its time and resources to cases which legitimately require attention".

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The court said that the conduct of the petitioners and the intervenors "scandalised the process of the court and prima facie constitutes criminal contempt". The bench lent credence to the statements of four judges - Shrikant Kulkarni, SM Modak, Vijay C Barde and RR Rathi - who were with Loya when he died in Nagpur.

A practicing lawyer and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, "Many-many people would be deeply disappointed but this is the Supreme Court and if Supreme Court takes a view we have to accept it and respect it". The petition was filed for seeking SIT inquiry into Justice Loya's death case. However, Loya's son had on 14 January said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes. "The Congress, the Communists and some media houses who were behind the whole campaign have been "totally exposed" in the matter after the Supreme Court upheld the investigation report of Maharashtra government", Fadnavis said. "This issue was raised three years after his (Judge Loya's) death and was an attempt to make a hidden attack on BJP President Amit Shah", he said in his reaction while attending some events in Nanded.

Spokespersons Sambit Patra and Gaurav Bhatia addressed one of them, held immediately after the verdict was announced. Most Indians, including those in the BJP, instinctively understand the truth about Mr Amit Shah.

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