TRANSFERS PENDING PIL'S ON JUDGE LOYA'S DEATH TO ITSELF
BH Loya case: This is serious matter, will look into all documents; says SC
- TEAM PT
BH Loya case: This is serious matter, will look into all documents; says SC



The Supreme Court on Monday said the controversy surrounding the death of special CBI judge BH Loya is "serious" and it will look into the circumstances leading to his death in November 2014.

Judge Loya was holding the trial into the staged shootout deaths of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and two others.

"The matter is serious. Let us look at full records. Let it never be on our conscience that we did not look at what we should have," the bench said as it directed all the parties to file whatever material they have relating to Loya's death and the circumstances leading to it and set the next hearing for 2 February.
 
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud transferred two PILs on Loya's death, pending before the Bombay High Court, to itself. The apex court also restrained all High Courts from entertaining any petition relating to Justice Loya's death case.
 
In the explosive hearing, CJI Dipak Misra got angry when senior lawyer Indira Jaisingh inferred that the Supreme Court is going to gag media. He then asked her to retract and apologise.
 
There was another heated exchange this time between senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Harish Salve with Dave charging the Maharashtra government of protecting Shah. Dave said Salve had appeared for Shah in the fake encounter case and could not have appeared for the state.

Salve shot back at Dave for raising arguments, meant for another forum. He said Dave was no one to tell him who he should appear for. Salve said a discreet inquiry by the state’s senior official had concluded that there was no foul play in Judge Loya’s death. He said according to the earlier court order, he had provided a copy of the report and post-mortem documents to the two petitioners before the SC.
 
Justice DY Chandrachud, one of the bench members, told Dave that the bench got to know about the case through media reports. He urged him not to drag any names since it has not been established that Loya’s death was a murder.

"This is a serious case. Let’s all look at the documents and hear the case objectively and dispassionately. We are all keeper of our own conscience. We cannot tell a lawyer to appear and not to appear,” Justice Chandrachud said, responding to Dave’s argument that Salve should not appear in the matter. 

Gangster Sohrabuddin Shaikh, who the Gujarat police claimed was also a terrorist, was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat and Rajasthan police in 2005. His wife Kausar Bi disappeared and was alleged to have been eliminated by police. Shaikh's associate Tulsi Prajapati was also later killed in an alleged fake encounter. The CBI took over the probe in February 2010 and filed charge sheet in July the same year against 23 accused, including Amit Shah, who at that time was the minister of state for home in Gujarat.
 
Case of Judge Loya’s death was the triggering point for the top four Supreme Court judges to go public against the CJI on January 12, accusing him of giving sensitive cases to favourable benches. Later, the case was withdrawn from the bench led by Justice Arun Misra and the chief marked it to himself.
 

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