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The Supreme Court on Friday termed a “serious matter” the issue of ”mysterious” death of special CBI judge B.H. Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, and sought a response from the Maharashtra government to pleas seeking an independent probe into it.
The court said, “This matter requires biparty hearing rather than ex parte.”
A Bench of justices Arun Mishra and M.M. Shantanagoudar asked Maharasthra Government counsel Nishant R. Katneshwarkar to file a reply by January 15.
At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the Bombay Lawyers Association, which had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, said the court was seized of the matter and the Supreme Court should not hear the pleas. “The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter. If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the High Court,” he said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Maharashtra-based journalist B.R. Lone, said in the Supreme Court that she had also instructions from the Bombay Lawyers Association that this matter should not be heard by the top court.
Both petitions are seeking an enquiry into the events and circumstances surrounding Loya’s death.
The apex court Bench, however, said it would look into the petitions but would also consider the objections raised.
Advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for another petitioner, Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala, said this was a case of a mysterious death of a judge on December 1, 2014 and it needed to be investigated.
The Bench then asked Mr. Katneshwarkar to file the mortem report and other relevant documents on the death of Loya besides taking instructions from the government.
The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 15.
Loya died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he was attending the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
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