Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Justice Loya's death: two petitions to investigate the case

Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 13:48

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud today took note of the submission seeking urgent hearing on the plea for a probe into the circumstances surrounding Loya's death.

The Supreme Court will hear on Friday two separate pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of CBI Special Court and Additional Sessions Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who presided over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shooting case.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation, filed by a journalist from Maharashtra, seeking an independent inquiry into Justice Loya's death.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 15.

"We will not go by what the high court is doing".

At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay lawyers association, said the high court is seized of the matter and the apex court should not hear the pleas.

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The bench, however, said it will look into the petitions but will also consider the objections raised.

Judge Loya was hearing the fake encounter case against Amit Shah, who also had to serve time in jail before being released.

Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, who had filed the petition, said just before his plea was to be heard this morning in the court of Justices Arun Mishra and M M Shantanagoudar, the senior advocate had pressurised him to withdraw the petition. In his plea, Poonawala contended that the circumstances around the death of the judge were questionable and mysterious.

The Bench, before adjourning the matter, asked the counsel appearing for the state of Maharashtra to seek instructions. The next trial judge acquitted Amit Shah and others in the fake encounter case on December 30, 2014.

A total of 23 accused, including police personnel, are facing trial for their involvement in the case.

Before his death on December 1, 2014, Loya was presiding over a special CBI court in Mumbai, where he was hearing the case of the alleged extrajudicial murder by the Gujarat Police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh.

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