New Delhi, Jan 17: The PIL seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge BH Loya may be put up before an “appropriate bench” after a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra decided not to hear any further petitions relating to the case, a report states.Also Read - 'Third Wave Not in Offing Immediately', Supreme Court Allows Kerala Govt to Hold Class XI Exams Offline
The Apex court also asked the Maharashtra government to hand over all documents filed by it on Loya’s death to petitioners saying they “should know everything”. Also Read - COVID-Related Deaths or Not? After Supreme Court's '3rd Wave' Rebuke, Centre Issues Guidelines | Key Takeaways
Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. Also Read - CBSE Private, Patrachar, Compartment Students Must Get Admission Provisionally, AICTE Urges Higher Educational Institutes
The issue had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting Loya’s sister had fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his death and its link to the Sohrabuddin case.
However, Loya’s son had on January 14 said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not under suspicious circumstances.
Yesterday, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Maharashtra government, placed before the bench the documents, including Loya’s medical and postmortem report, in a sealed cover. He told the court that these documents contained certain confidential materials which should not be made public.
However, the counsel appearing for the petitioners said they should be given copies of these documents. To this, the bench observed, “it is a matter where they should know everything”.
Salve told the court that these documents could be given to the petitioners but they should maintain its confidentiality and should not make them public. “If anything is confidential, we will put confidential mark on that,” Salve said.
The petitioners’ counsel assured the top court that they would not make any of the documents public, after which the bench asked the state government to hand over the materials to the petitioners within seven days.
The bench, without specifying any date, adjourned the case and said it would be listed for hearing after a week. “We are not fixing any date. We have said, list it after seven days,” the bench said.
The apex court was hearing two separate PILs, filed by Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone and Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla, seeking independent probe into the alleged mysterious death of Loya.
Poonawalla’s counsel, in his plea, he has claimed that circumstances revolving around the death of the judge were “questionable, mysterious and contradicting”.
The other plea filed by the journalist has submitted that a fair probe was needed into the mysterious death of Loya.
The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on January 12 when four senior apex court judges, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had convened an unprecedented press conference raising some issues, including “selective” allocation of cases by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
A total of 23 accused, including police personnel, are facing trial for their involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their associate Tulsidas Prajapati in Gujarat in November 2005. The case was later transferred to CBI and the trial shifted to Mumbai.
(With PTI inputs)