Loya’s death serious issue, but don’t cast aspersions: SC tells lawyers

Team SoOLEGAL 23 Jan 2018 11:10am

Loya’s death serious issue, but don’t cast aspersions: SC tells lawyers

During the hearing on Monday, SC called the matter of Justice Loya's death as “serious”, and transferred to itself the two PILs on the matter pending before the Bombay high court. The two petitions were filed by Mumbai-based journalist B R Lone and activist Tehseen Poonawala.

The Supreme Court also restrained all other High Courts (HCs) from dealing with any PIL related to Loya's case. There were heated arguments following the SC order between Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners, and Harish Salve, representing the Maharashtra government.

During the Monday’s hearing, Harish Salve presented documents in favor of the state's stand that Loya suffered a heart attack and died a natural death. The documents comprised of statements of four district judges, among whom, two had attended the wedding reception with Loya in Nagpur.

Dave then attacked Salve and claimed that there were serious contradictions in the explanations given by the state. Dave said he would produce RTI documents that “raise serious suspicions about the circumstances leading to Loya's death”.

Dave further said that Salve had violated professional ethics by representing the Maharashtra government, despite having appeared for BJP chief Amit Shah.

Amit Shah’s name was among the list of accused in the case relating to the "fake" encounter of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh which was being tried by Loya at the time of his death. However, Shah was later discharged from the case.

As the heated exchange of words continued, The CJI-led bench advised Dave, “lets’ not cast aspersions”. The bench further said that, “all the documents, produced by the state and those obtained through RTI by petitioners must be looked at with objectivity”.

The issue of Loya’s death came under the spotlight last November following a report published in Caravan magazine. According to the report, “Loya’s sister and other close relatives raised questions over the circumstances surrounding the death”.

A subsequent investigation by The Indian Express revealed that crucial claims in the report — “the ECG was not working”, someone unknown to the family picked up the body, the judge was virtually abandoned after his death and that his body was sent to his village home unescorted — were not supported by evidence on the ground, including official records.

Besides, two judges of the Bombay High Court, Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Sunil Shukre, who went to the hospital where Loya was admitted and made arrangements for the transport of the body, told The Indian Express that there was nothing about the circumstances of the death that raises suspicion.

Tagged: Justice Loya Death   Supreme Court   BJP chief Amit Shah   High Court  
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