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SC orders Maharashtra govt to hand over documents related to Judge Loya’s death to petitioners

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi.

A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

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Documents were passed on to court in a sealed cover and it, in turn, asks the petitioners to not make the contents public or disclose it in any way.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to share all documents linked to the death of CBI judge B.H. Loya, if considered appropriate, with the PIL petitioners seeking a CBI probe.

But even as it did this, the two-judge Bench said the case may be put up before the appropriate Bench, suggesting that it may not want to hear the case further.

The order was passed by a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan M. Shantanagoudar after the Maharashtra government passed on some documents in a sealed cover to the court. The court, in turn, asked the petitioners, not to make the contents public or disclose it in any way. “It is a matter in which they [petitioners] should know everything,” Justice Arun Mishra observed in a crowded courtroom.

Judge Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh police encounter case when he passed away.

The assignment of the case was questioned by the four senior judges who had called a press conference on January 12 against what they described as the “selective” assignment of cases by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The press conference was held hardly an hour after Justice Mishra, who heard the Loya PILs, observed in court that the petitions dealt with a “serious matter”.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave had intervened in the hearing on January 12, and asked Justice Mishra’s Bench not to take up the case. Mr. Dave said that his client, Bombay Lawyers Association, had already filed an identical petition in the Bombay High Court, which is already seized of the issue. Mr. Dave had asked the apex court not to entertain the petitions filed here.

But Justice Mishra’s Bench went ahead to ask the Maharashtra government to produce the records on January 16. “We have given the court all the appropriate documents,” senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for Maharashtra, told the media.

The SC is hearing a petition filed by Maharashtra-based journalist B.R. Lone for a probe into Loya’s death on December 1, 2014. It submitted that a fair probe was needed into the mysterious death of Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin encounter case in which various police officers and BJP president Amit Shah were named as parties.

Another plea has been filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala, saying the circumstances surrounding the death of the judge were “questionable, mysterious and contradicting”.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:52:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-orders-maharashtra-govt-to-hand-over-documents-related-to-judge-loyas-death-to-petitioners/article22449174.ece

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