Supreme Court Seeks Judge Loya's Postmortem Report, Says Matter 'Very Serious'

Justice Loya

Justice Loya was over looking the judgement on the Soharbuddin Sheikh encounter case, in which, according to the CBI, Amit Shah had been responsible for the murder of Soharbuddin, along with his wife and a friend, who had been an eye witness of Sheikh's killing.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan Shantanagoudar heard the matter today, and later adjourned it to Monday, January 15. "The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter".

The Supreme Court on Friday termed as serious the issue of "mysterious" death of special CBI judge B H Loya and asked the Maharashtra government to produce all records before it.

Judge Loya died of heart attack on December 1, 2014 while on a visit to Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. Underlining it to be a "serious" issue, the top court also said, "This matter requires bi-party hearing rather than exparte".

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the Bombay Lawyers Association, told the bench that the Bombay High Court was seized of the matter and the bench should not hear the plea.

Loya had taken over the trial after Justice JT Utpat, the judge who first heard the trial, was transferred from the CBI special court in mid-2014, in violation of the Supreme Court order which said that the trial be heard by the same judge from start to finish.

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The court did not entertain the submission and said, "We will not come in the way". Advocate Anita Shenoy appeared for petitioner Maharashtra-based journalist Banduraj Sambhaji Lone.

A 3-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had agreed on Thursday to an urgent hearing on the petition and listed it before this Bench.

"We will see. We will take into consideration your objections".

A PIL seeking probe into the judge's death has also been filed before the Bombay High Court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers' Association. Loya died on 1 December 2014 of an alleged cardiac arrest.

The issue came in the spotlight in November past year after a report by Caravan magazine linking the circumstances surrounding his death to the trial in the Sohrabuddin case. "In cases where prima facie material is available to investigate, it is absolutely necessary to order an inquiry", the Congress leader said. Loya had alleged that he was under huge pressure while hearing Sohrabuddin encounter case.

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