Pleas seeking probe in Loya's death 'politically motivated': Maharashtra govt to SC

Senior counsel appearing for Maharashtra said, 'Apart from politics, there is nothing amiss in the death of Loya.'

New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Monday strongly opposed in the Supreme Court plea for a probe into the death of CBI Judge BH Loya and said the petitions are politically motivated just because the judge is connected with a criminal case involving a political functionary (Amit Shah) heading a political party (BJP).

Making this submission before a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Kanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Maharashtra said, “Apart from politics, there is nothing amiss in the death of Loya.”

Rohatgi said, “These petitions are filed for extraneous petitions with oblique motive. The unfortunate death of judge Loya is sought to be politicised just because the judge is connected with the criminal case in which a political functionary heading a political party (in an apparent reference to Amit Shah) was discharged from the case. Press conference is held (by Congress party) for a probe to politicise the issue.”

Rohatgi pointed out that there was not even a whisper by any of these petitioners, Bombay Advocates Association, Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala or journalist Bhandhuraj Lone till a magazine raised a suspicion about Loya’s death based on wrong facts. The article was completely baseless without verification of facts.

He said that four district judges who were present with Loya from November 29 till the afternoon of December 1, 2014 had given statements as to how the Judge died of heart attack in the early hours of December 1, 2014.

Rohatgi told the court, “These PILs are not maintainable. We are not hearing a criminal appeal in a murder case. Unless this court is prima facie satisfied that the four judges (two of them are not Judges of the Bombay High Court) were conspirators in the death of Loya no further probe can be ordered.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave had alleged that the statements of the four witnesses are false, as the independent persons who were privy to the said incident were never verified and furthermore, even the sequence of events is not corroborated by any supporting documents. On Monday he told the court that he had filed an application seeking cross examination of 11 witnesses including two High Court judges.

Dave also said that he had filed the video statements of Loya’s father and sister alleging that bribe was ordered to them to prevent an enquiry. The CJI asked Rohatgi to meet these allegations also.

Rohatgi said the Commissioner of State Intelligence Department conducted an enquiry and the State government was satisfied that no further probe was necessary. He reiterated that the petitions are filed with ulterior motive to scandalise judiciary and judges.

He said, “I am shocked at the way allegations are made against even the Administrative Committee of the High Court. They don’t have any concern for the judiciary or Judge Loya but have only oblique motive.”

He said the unimpeachable evidence of the four judges is enough to show that Loya died of heart attack and “there is no reason to disbelieve their evidence.”

Arguments will continue on February 16.

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