New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking an independent investigation into the death of Special CBI Judge B.H. Loya.
The three-judge bench that included chief justice Dipak Misra held that all litigations concerning circumstances of death of judge Loya is concluded with this judgement. "Justice Loya died of natural causes and the petitions were a serious attempt to scandalise and obstruct the course of justice", the judges said.
“PIL jurisdiction is being brazenly used by those who have an agenda to settle scores. The true face of the petition is seldom unravelled. It’s a serious concern as frivolous PILs detract court’s time from hearing genuine petitions of personal liberty,” the judges said. “There is no reason to doubt the consistent statements by judges who accompanied Judge Loya to Nagpur.”
The Supreme Court also condemned the petitioners for referring to cases not related to the Judge Loya case, and said “unfounded aspersions” were cast on high court judges and insinuations were made that one individual was controlling the judiciary.
Justice Loya mysteriously died in 2014 while a case pertaining to the fake encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh was pending in the CBI court in which BJP president Amit Shah was an accused. Dr RK Sharma, one of India’s foremost forensic experts, after examining medical documents opined that Justice B.H Loya seemed to have died because of trauma to the brain, and even possible poisoning.
“There is no evidence of myocardial infarction in the histopathology report,” Sharma, the former head of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, and the president of the Indian Association of Medico-Legal Experts for 22 years.
“The findings in this report have no suggestion of a heart-attack. They show changes, but not a heart attack", he said while dismissing the official claim that Loya died of a heart attack
“The post-mortem report also says that calcification is observed in the vessels. Where there is calcification, there is no heart attack. Once the vessels have calcified they will never block the flow of blood", Sharma told The Caravan after studying Loya’s post-mortem report and related histopathology report.
The Caravan had in an earlier report claimed that Justice Loya’s sister and father had said that the Justice was offered a bribe of Rs 100 crore and a flat in Mumbai to pass a favourable judgment in Sohrabuddin encounter killing case. The judge had also confided to his family that he would rather retire or take a transfer than to take the bribe.
Meanwhile, The Caravan said it stands by its reports and will continue to fight for justice "journalistically".
"Will have to wait till one reads the whole judgment on the specifics. But Caravan magazine stands by each of its 22 stories. The stories speak for itself. And we will follow journalistically the questions that continue to puzzle the circumstances of Judge Loya’s death", The Caravan Executive Editor Vinod K Jose said after SC ruling said adding that a press release and statement by The Caravan on the Loya verdict will be up shortly.
There are mixed response from a number of people who took to Twitter to express their opinion on the SC verdict. "If a CBI jugde can't get justice, how can CBI get anyone justice?" Shehla Rashid, JNU students union leader, said in a tweet.
A practicing lawyer and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said, "Many-many people would be deeply disappointed but this is the Supreme Court and if Supreme Court takes a view we have to accept it and respect it."
Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan while reacting on the SC order said, "SC bench headed by CJI dismissed the petitions into Judge Loya's death, despite the ECG and Histopath report falsifying heart attack theory."
"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?", Bhushan said in another tweet.
Activist Yogendra Yadav while reacting on the SC verdict said, "If Judges can't lie, what about the four judges who held a press conference on 12th February?"
However, senior BJP leaders hailed the SC verdict and said the Congress was exposed once again. "The verdict in Judge Loya case has exposed the Congress once again. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of the country. They have tried to create such an environment that develops negative emotions for the government", Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.
Taking similar lines, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "People who have been politicizing the judiciary for their own motives, now stand exposed."
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