SC Transfers Pending Petitions on Judge Loya's Death From High Court to Itself

The bench asked the parties to catalogue all documents relating to Loya's death, which have not been filed so far, and submit them on February 2, the next date of hearing.

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court today transferred to itself two petitions, pending at the Bombay high court and its Nagpur bench, relating to the alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge B.H. Loya in 2014.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also asked the parties to catalogue all documents relating to Loya’s death which have not been filed so far and submit them for its perusal on February 2, the next date of hearing.

Terming the issues raised in the two petitions pending before it as “serious”, the bench said, “We must look into all documents with utmost seriousness.”

The bench, also comprising justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, restrained all the high courts in the country from entertaining any petition relating to Loya’s death.

The bench got irked when senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for a Bombay lawyers body which had filed a PIL in the high court there, took BJP president Amit Shah’s name during the hearing, alleging that everything has been done to protect him (Shah).

“As of today, it is a natural death. Then, do not cast aspersions,” the bench said while considering the strong opposition of senior advocate Harish Salve, the counsel for Maharashtra government in the case.

During the hearing, Misra got angry when senior advocate Indira Jaising inferred a possible future order that the apex court may gag the media in the case. “This is not fair to me. This you cannot do,” the CJI responded and asked her to retract and apologise forthwith. Jaising retracted her statement and tendered an apology.

Also read: Death of a Judge: What We Know, What We Don’t Know

Earlier, a bench headed by justice Arun Mishra had recused itself from hearing two petitions, filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla and a Maharashtra journalist B.S. Lone on the issue from hearing and had said that let the matter be posted before “an appropriate bench”.

In pursuance of that order these two matters were listed today before the bench headed by the CJI.

The Loya case was one of those which was indicated by the four senior most apex court judges –  justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M.B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph – at their press conference where they had questioned the manner in which sensitive cases were being allocated.