Treating Loya case as a ‘cause’, SC tells petitioners

New Delhi : Adjourning further hearing on Monday to March 5 as arguments remained inconclusive, Chief Justice Dipak Misra assured the petitioners demanding a probe into the mysterious death of Mumbai’s CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya that the Supreme Court is treating the case as a “cause” and giving it the “highest amount of seriousness.”

Justice DY Chandrachud, another judge on the 3-judge Bench, endorsed the Chief Justice, saying, “We do not care what is being said outside, but we will do our duty if any fact arouses our suspicion.” Justice A M Khanwilkar is the third judge on the Bench that is hearing the petitions for a Supreme Court-monitored independent inquiry into the death of Loya in December 2014.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the Bombay Lawyers Association, will continue arguments on March 5 as he was on his feet when the Court rose.

He again on Monday urged the Court to issue a notice of Maharashtra Government to seek affidavits from the four judges who were with Loya at the time of his death.

He questioned the judges’ statements furnished by the government that were cited by former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to tell the Court on February 12 that it should go by the statements of the judges who were with Loya in his final hours as otherwise a probe against their stand would make them “conspirators” in his death.

The Maharashtra government is opposing the probe into Loya’s death. Rohatgi has been dismissive the petitions as motivated to impute doubts in a natural death  just because at the time of his death, Loya was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Chief Justice Misra said there will be ground for suspicion if Section 174CrPC has not been duly complied with. This section prescribes how the Police has to handle any death. “If there is some suspicion which requires further investigation, we shall do that. We are looking at the evidence. That is why we have asked the state to show us all their material on the case,” the Chief Justice said.

His comments came when Rohatgi opposed Dushyant Dave’s demand for affidavits of the four judges, asserting that until we have the documents on affidavits, justice won’t be served because the judges will not be able to judge independently. Rohatgi protested, asserting that it is not written anywhere that in every writ petition, rejoinders, etc. must be recorded.”

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