The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected petitions asking for an independent probe into Jude Loya’s death.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar, said there was no merit to the allegations that Judge Loya’s death was suspicious, and said that the statements made by the judicial officers who were at Nagpur with him at the time of his death were clear and consistent.
The Bench added that the PILs were a misuse of judicial process. It added that the PILs were scandalous and amounted to contempt of court.
The apex court added that aspersions were cast on the Administrative Committee of High Court, and “even judges of this court were not spared”.
CBI special judge Brijmohan Harikishan Loya was presiding over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah was one of the accused in the case and was later discharged.
Records show that he died of a heart attack in Nagpur on December 1, 2014. He was in Nagpur to attend the wedding of the daughter of a fellow judge. His death came into the spotlight recently after The Caravan published a piece quoting his family suggesting that his death was the result of foul play and the incident was covered-up. Subsequently, the magazine and other media outlets went on to publish several reports suggesting that his death indeed was fishy and some top political players were potentially involved in the cover-up of his death.
The petitioners seeking an independent probe into Judge Loya’s death included the Bombay Lawyers’ Association, and the Bombay High Court transferred the petition to the Supreme Court. Senior advocates Dushyant Dave represented the association. Indira Jaising, another very senior advocate, represented some of the other petitioners in court
Harish Salve, senior advocate, who represented the state of Maharashtra, told the court that a ‘discreet inquiry’ had been carried out into the judge’s death.
Incidentally, Maharashtra is a BJP-ruled state.