The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing in the case related to the death of special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya to March 5 as arguments were inconclusive.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice Chandrachud assured the petitioners that they were treating the case with the “highest amount of seriousness”, according to The Hindu. “We treat it as a cause,” they said. “We do not care what is being said outside, but we will do our duty if any fact arouses our suspicion.”
A Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanvilkar and DY Chandrachud, are hearing petitions that demanded an independent investigation monitored by the Supreme Court into Loya’s death.
Advocate Dushyant Dave, who is representing the Bombay Lawyers Association in the case, opposed the procedure followed by the Supreme Court and urged the court to issue a notice to the Maharashtra government and seek affidavits from the judges who were with Loya at the time of his death.
Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, the Maharashtra government’s counsel had told the court on February 12 that an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Judge Loya’s death would, prima facie, mean considering the four judges who were with him in his final hours as conspirators.
Rohatgi had been dismissive of the petitions, which according to him are motivated, and said the petitioners have made “cavalier and indiscriminate” allegations. At the time of his death on December 1, 2014, Loya was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah was an accused. The petitioners sought an investigation into Loya’s death after an investigative report by the Caravan in November 2017.
When asked why an autopsy was ordered if it was a natural death, Rohatgi had replied that Loya was brought dead to the second hospital Meditrina. “If the judge had died in hospital, there would have been no need.”
In November 2017, the Caravan had published a report with startling revelations that raised doubts on whether Loya’s death was natural. Since then, there have been demands for an independent probe into his death. A delegation of Opposition MPs had met President Ram Nath Kovind on February 9 and given him a letter signed by 114 Opposition lawmakers, demanding a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team inquiry.