The Supreme Court dismissed a batch of petitions seeking an independent investigation into the death of former judge B.H.Loya.

A three-judge bench expressed anguish over the claims made by the petitioners as it dismissed the pleas alleging mysterious circumstances surrounding Loya’s death.

The court held that there was no reason to disbelieve the statements made by the judicial officers ruling out foul play. A serious attempt has been made to scandalize the court and obstruct the judicial process.

Who was Justice Loya?
Judge Loya was presiding over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case when he died.

Loya died of a cardiac arrest on 1 December 2014 in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. His death came under the scanner following media reports citing some members of the judge’s family expressing doubts over the circumstances of his death.

The apex court was ruling on a batch of petitions, including one by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla and another by a Maharashtra-based journalist, seeking a probe into Loya’s death. These also include the two pleas that the apex court transferred to itself including the one brought by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA).

The Loya death case had earlier been allocated to a bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and M.M. Shantanagoudar. However, after the recent judicial crisis over claims made by four senior apex court judges about an arbitrary system of allotment of cases by the chief justice, Misra constituted a new bench comprising justices Chandrachud, A.M. Khanwilkar and himself on 20 January to hear the matter.

According to the documents submitted to the court, four judicial officers who accompanied Loya to the hospital after he complained of chest pain have denied any foul play in their statements.

(Adapted from Livemint)