Supreme Court, while pronouncing its verdict on Judge Loya case, has dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of Special CBI Judge Brijmohan Harikishan Loya. The apex court ruled that the death occurred due to natural causes and observed that the petitioners were just trying to scandalize the judiciary.
The verdict was given by a three-judge bench that was headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, Justice AM Khanwilkar, and Justice DY Chandrachud. Reports suggested that Justice Loya died on December 1, 2014, of a heart attack in Nagpur. However, the petitions claimed that the death took place under “mysterious” circumstances.
It’s important to note that back in 2014 when Judge Loya died, he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh “fake encounter” case. BJP President Amit Shah was accused in the case, however, later he was acquitted. Allegations suggested that the death of Judge Loya was rather planned and not natural. Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan claimed involvement of foul play and said that reports showed a head injury and even indicated that Loya might even have been poisoned.
During the hearing, there were heated arguments between the counsels who had filed the petitions and the state of Maharashtra. While petitioners kept raising questions, the state maintained that the allegations were motivated.
The Supreme Court also stated in the judgment that there were increasing instances of PILs being misused and that courts should not be the place to settle political scores. The apex court said that it had no reason disbelieve the statements given by 4 judicial officers during a discrete inquiry and also thrashed the theory that Loya didn’t stay at Ravi Bhawan.
Furthermore, the arguments put forth by the petitioners were identified by SC as a “frontal attack on the independence of the judiciary”. The court also added that the petitioners’ conduct constituted criminal contempt but spared them from any contempt action.