Supreme Court Dismisses PIL Seeking Independent Probe Into Justice Loya's Death
The Supreme Court today dismissed the PIL that sought for an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge Justice Brijmohan Loya. They slammed the petitioners stating that they were trying to scandalise the jury, reported The Indian Express. The top court ruled that he died due to “natural causes”.
The judgement was pronounced by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. “There is no merit in the petitions and there is no reason to doubt the statements of sitting Judges, an attempt of the petitioners was to malign the judiciary,” said SC while dismissing the petitions.
“Don’t have faith in judicial system (Nyaya vyavastha main vishwas nahin hain),” Dr Anuradha Biyani, Justice Loya’s sister said.
“The statement of the four judges were not in an affidavit, yet the Supreme Court said there was no reason to disbelieve them. It said no for an independent probe,” said Prashant Bhushan, activist and public interest lawyer. He was referring to the four judges who were allegedly there with Justice Loya during the time of his death.
The SC while dismissing the petition seeking independent Investigation into Judge Loya's death, said that "Judges can't lie. Their word must be treated to be the gospel truth. Anyone who questions judges is guilty of contempt"! Judges in their own cause? https://t.co/fIfk7NmcoS
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) April 19, 2018
The 48-year-old judge, Justice Loya, died due to a heart attack in Nagpur, shows record. However, petitioners claimed that he died under mysterious circumstances as he was at that time hearing Sohrabuddin Sheikh “fake encounter” case in which current BJP President, Amit Shah was an accused. Shah was later acquitted of all charges. Last year in November, Justice Loya’s family raised questions about his “suspicious death”. His sister even claimed that Justice Loya was offered a bribe of Rs 100 crores by Justice Mohit Shah, the then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, in return for a favourable judgement.
Later, Loya’s son had said that the family had no doubts about the integrity of the investigating agencies and that they were certain Loya died of a heart attack.
Four Judges called a press conference
In January, four top judges of the Supreme Court called a press conference about the issue of judicial appointments. The judges addressing the press included Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Kurien Joseph who are senior most judges of the country, just below Chief Justice of India in the hierarchy. They said the press conference was prompted on the issue of appointment of judges in the case of death of special CBI Judge B.H. Loya.
This move was a protest of sorts against the recommendations of collegium regarding the judicial appointments, ignoring senior judges of the court. “Sometimes, the administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. There are many things less than desirable that have happened in the last few months… As senior-most justices of the court, we have a responsibility to the nation and institution. Four of us are convinced, the democracy will not survive. We met CJI this morning, with a specific request but we could not convince him. We had no choice but to communicate to the nation to take care of the institution. We place it before people of the country,” Justice Gogoi said.