Supreme Court says,
Judge Loya died of natural causes; Petitions “Scandalous”
Rejecting petitions for an independent investigation into Judge BH Loya case on 19 April 2018, the Supreme Court said, “These petitions are scandalous” and a “frontal attack on the judiciary”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also found the petitions in criminal contempt, based on the statement of four Mumbai judges who were with judge Loya at the time and had asserted that he died of natural causes. 48-year-old judge Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, when he died of a heart attack in Maharashtra’s Nagpur, where he was attending a wedding. The judge who replaced judge Loya ruled there was not enough evidence against BJP National President Shri Amit Shah to merit a trial and discharged him. The top court, without naming anyone, said it “takes strong exception to insinuation made that one individual controls judiciary”.
Developments of the case
–While rejecting a probe, the Supreme Court said “we can’t doubt the statements of the judicial officers who were with Loya” in his last hours.
–Judges J Kulkarni, J Barde, J Modak and JRR Rathi have stated that the death of Judge Loya was “natural and unfortunate”. The Supreme Court said: “Business rivalries to be resolved in market and political rivalries in the hall of democracy. It is the court’s duty to protect law.”
–During the hearing, it was argued that the two other judges besides the Chief Justice, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, should exit the case as they are from Mumbai.
–Five petitions called for an independent inquiry after questions were raised about the death last year. In an interview to the Caravan magazine, judge Loya’s sister Anuradha Biyani questioned the circumstances of his death. Another relative alleged that judge Loya was offered a huge bribe and was under immense mental pressure. The Maharashtra police rubbished the family’s claims.
–Amid renewed speculation, Judge Loya’s son Anuj Loya said in January that the family no longer had any suspicion about the death.
–“There was some suspicion before due to emotional turmoil, but now it is clear,” Anuj Loya told reporters.
–The Maharashtra government told the top court that the petitions were motivated and the judge’s death was being politicized since he was connected with a criminal case in which a person heading a political party had been discharged.
–The case became a rallying point for the opposition, which said there was a threat to democracy when lawyers and judges working on important cases were targeted. Congress President Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind with a group of lawmakers, asking for an independent investigation into judge Loya’s death.
PILs a “vituperative assault on judiciary”
Justice Chandrachud, who wrote the verdict, described the PILs as a “vituperative assault on the judiciary”. He said they were an example of misuse of judicial process and time when hundreds of itigants are waiting for their personal liberty.
Justice Chandrachud observed that the petitioners used the Supreme Court and their PILs as platforms to malign the Bombay High Court judiciary and the judicial officers who were with Judge Loya at the time of his death. At one point, the petitioners even wanted to “cross-examine” the judges who were with Judge Loya on their statements that said he died of a cardiac arrest.
Justice Chandrachud at one point wondered on the irony of why the petitioners first approached the Bombay High Court if they had no faith in its judges.
The judgment said the PILs were a “serious attack on the judiciary” and an attempt to “seriously scandalise” judges.
The PILs were an attempt to satisfy personal agendas and score over political rivals. The aura created by the petitioners that the PILs were meant to protect the independence of the judiciary – by seeking a probe into the death of Judge Loya – was a mere “facade”. The truth was that the petitioners wanted to sensationalise the death of a judge. The PILs were only a “veiled attempt to destroy the credibility of judiciary” with “scurrilious” claims.
Conspiracy to Defame BJP President
The Supreme Court has given its decision on Judge Loya’s death which has exposed the Congress party and its associates. Dismissing the PIL SC stated the following:
-The PIL is politically motivated.
-The PIL has been filed to settle political score.
-It is a veiled PIL which has been filed by someone unknown and is complete politically motivated.
The PIL is a blatant attempt to defame the Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court which is very unfortunate.
The PIL was filed to defame the BJP in general and the party president Shri Amit Shah in particular. The Indian Judiciary has unveiled the truth in front of everyone and TRUTH has prevailed once again.