Concerned only with Loya’s death, won’t go into other issues, says SC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Feb 2018 08:49:13



THE Supreme Court on Friday gave a ‘loud and clear’ message that it was concerned only with the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, and would not go into other aspects including BJP chief Amit Shah’s discharge in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

The apex court, which is hearing the petitions seeking an independent investigation into Loya’s death in 2014, made it clear that issue before it was whether further probe should be ordered into it or not. Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

After Loya’s death, special judge M B Gosavi, who took over the trial, had discharged Shah and some other accused.
When the petitions seeking an independent probe into Loya’s death came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, one of the advocates said he had filed a plea in the Bombay High Court, which has now been transferred to the apex court. He said he had made Shah one of the respondents.

When the lawyer sought that notices should be issued on his plea, the bench said, “We will permit you to argue. There is no question of issuing notice.”
“We are only concerned with the death of the judge. We are not on other cases at all. This message must go loud and clear,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. When Shah’s issue was raked up, senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Maharashtra Government, said, “This is the real purpose of these petitions”. Senior counsel Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay Lawyers Association, said it was a “very serious matter” and it would be proper if pleadings in the case were completed first.

Referring to a report by Commissioner of Intelligence (CID) of Maharashtra, Dave said an independent probe was required as it contained ‘bundle of discrepencies’ and ‘contradictions’. At the last hearing, Dave was warned by the apex court against casting aspersions on Shah in the case, and on Friday he said that the same set of advocates, who had defended the BJP chief in the matter, were now appearing for the State.

Senior Advocate V Giri, representing Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, who has also sought a probe into Loya’s death, raised questions about the veracity of reports filed by the state, and said the records must be placed before the court. Rohatgi countered the submissions, saying “Except for maligning the judiciary and have (media) glare, there is something more to it. We have given the entire records, please see that,” Rohatgi told the bench. To this, the bench told Dave, “Let us have a birds eye view of your case and let us see what are the documents.”