The Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Maharashtra government that the death of special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya is a case where petitioners “should know everything”, The Times of India reported.
The court was hearing two pleas that asked for an independent investigation into Judge Loya’s death, The Indian Express reported.
The petitions were filed by Maharashtra journalist BR Lone and Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, who called the death of the judge “questionable, mysterious and contradicting”, the report said.
The petitions were filed on January 11. The next day, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, who were allocated the case, asked the Maharashtra government’s response on the pleas.
At the time of his death on December 1, 2014, Loya was presiding over a special CBI court in Mumbai, hearing the case of the alleged extrajudicial murder by the Gujarat Police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh. Among the accused in the case was Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, who was the home minister of Gujarat when the alleged fake encounter took place.
On Tuesday, the Maharashtra government submitted the documents related to the death in a sealed cover, PTI reported. The government told the court that the petitioners could access all documents, except a few confidential reports.
Senior advocate Harish Salve told the court the Maharashtra government did not have a problem sharing documents with the petitioners, but asked them not to make it public, according to The Times of India report.
The Supreme Court has listed the matter for hearing after a week, but did not fix a specific date.
The allocation of the case
On Friday, after this case was allocated to the bench, four top judges of the Supreme Court held an unprecedented press conference, and voiced their reservations regarding the manner in which the chief justice had been assigning cases to benches.
While they did not specify the cases, when asked if they were referring to the Judge Loya case, Justice Ranjan Gogoi reportedly said yes, the Indian Express reported.