New Delhi, Apr 19: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the alleged mysterious death of Judge Brijmohan Harikishan Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, saying that he died of “natural causes” and the case doesn’t merit a further inquiry. “We have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no merit in the writ petitions. There is no reason for the court to doubt the clear and consistent statements of the four judicial officers.”

“The documentary material on the record indicates that the death of Judge Loya was due to natural causes. There is no ground for the court to hold that there was reasonable suspicion about the cause or circumstances of death which would merit a further inquiry,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The apex court also said that the petitioners tried to scandalise the judiciary. After announcing the verdict, the bench said, “the petitions were a veiled attempt to launch a frontal attack on the independence of the judiciary.”

Reacting to the SC ruling, Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “The verdict marks a sad day in India’s history. The Supreme Court verdict has left many questions unanswered.There were discrepancies in the post-mortem report, even in recording the name of the victim properly.”

Verdict clear message that judiciary can’t be misled: Rajnath Singh

After the verdict, Union Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to hail the SC ruling and said that the verdict is a clear message that the judiciary cannot be misled. “The Supreme Court has also cautioned against the misuse of courts in political tug of war. The SC verdict gives a clear message that the judiciary can not be misled by allegations based on political vendetta” he tweeted.

The home minister further added that there have been “several attempts of targeting the BJP and assassinating the character of its top leaders on the basis of ‘fake facts’. These attempts have failed miserably once again”.

Rahul Gandhi ‘invisible hand’ behind Judge Loya PILs: BJP

The BJP claimed that Rahul Gandhi is the ‘invisible hand’ behind the petitions filed demanding a probe into the alleged mysterious death of Judge Loya and they should apologise to the country for defaming the judiciary.

Addressing the media soon after the apex court pronounced its verdict, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the petitions were filed with a political agenda. “For sometime, a few people were trying to politicise the judiciary. The court has slammed the petitioners who were demanding a SIT probe into the death of Judge Loya,” he said.

“Who held a press conference on January 12, 2018? It was Rahul Gandhi. It will be true to say the invisible hand, the invisible body that the Supreme Court is talking about… is none other than Rahul Gandhi and the Congress,” he said. “You people lost power because of your inefficiencies. And it’s the reason why you people are so jealous. Rahul Gandhi should come out and apologize to (BJP President) Amit Shah, the country and judiciary,” he said.

Rahul shouldn’t fight political battle in court: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Thursday that Rahul Gandhi should not fight political battles through the corridors of Court. Prasad said that the court’s observation meant that the case was fought as a political battle against BJP chief Amit Shah. Prasad said the case had not been made out to serve public interest; it was meant to damage the interest of the BJP and of its chief Amit Shah in particular.

Adding his voice to the demand for an apology from the Congress, Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said, “If you’re doing the credentials of the judiciary, then you’re also doubting the credentials of all the investigation & evidence. I think Rahul Gandhi should apologise to Amit Shah.”

Most Indians understand truth about Amit Shah: Rahul Gandhi

Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Congress for terming the Supreme Court ruling in the mysterious death of Judge Loya as “sad day in India’s history”, President Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the “most Indians understand the truth about Amit Shah”. “Indians are deeply intelligent. Most Indians, including those in the BJP, instinctively understand the truth about Mr Amit Shah. The truth has its own way of catching up with people like him,” Gandhi’s tweet read.