Judge Loya death case: Supreme court transfers two cases to itself

Judge Loya death case: Supreme court transfers two cases to itself

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra got angry when a senior woman lawyer inferred that the Supreme Court is going to gag media.

Justice Loya allegedly died after a massive heart attack.

In the end, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud adjourned the matter till February 2, asking the litigants to submit, in sealed covers, all documents related to the case by then. "Then, do not cast aspersions", the Bench said, while considering the strong opposition on the issue by senior advocate Harish Salve, the counsel for the Maharashtra government. Speaking for the SC Bench, he said, "We are looking into the circumstances that led to a district judge's death which is a serious issue". Shah was acquitted just a few weeks later by the judge who succeeded Loya.

At the time of his death on December 1, 2014, Justice BH Loya (48) was hearing the case of the alleged fake encounter of inter-state "gangster" Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which BJP president Amit Shah was an accused along with several others.

The Apex Court, which made a decision to look into "all documents with utmost seriousness" connected with the death of Loya, who was trying the Soharabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, also took umbrage at Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, who during the hearing, inferred a possible future order that the Apex Court may gag the media in the case.

While Salve insinuated that the case was being "used" by certain individuals for possible vested interests, Dave shot back saying: "He (Salve) has destroyed the institution enough".

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The development comes days after the four senior-most SC judges in a presser alleged that the CJI, who is the master of the roster, was arbitrarily assigning important cases to select benches headed by junior judges. When contacted, SCBA President Vikas Singh said there was a demand from the bar to follow the roster system of allocation of work prevalent in the Delhi High Court.

Insisting that the court was not trying to curtail the freedom of the press, he asked Jaising to withdraw her comments.

The top court also restrained all high courts from entertaining any petition relating to Loya's death. Salve requested the court that the records given to lawyers in the case should not be shared outside.

It also advised the High Courts to not hear any PIL that is related to Loya's death.

"Let us look at the matter with a sense of objectivity".

"As of today, it is a natural death".