The Supreme Court on Monday transferred to itself two petitions, pending at the Bombay High Court and its Nagpur bench, relating to the alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya in 2014.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also asked the parties to catalogue all documents relating to Loya’s death which have not been filed so far, and submit them for its perusal on February 2, the next date of hearing.
The bench called the issues raised in the two petitions pending before it as “serious”, and said, “We must look into all documents with utmost seriousness”.
The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, restrained all the High Courts in the country from entertaining any petition relating to Loya’s death.
“As of today, it is a natural death. Then, do not cast aspersions,” the bench said while considering the strong opposition of senior advocate Harish Salve, the counsel for Maharashtra government in the case.
During the hearing, CJI Misra got angry when senior advocate Indira Jaising inferred a possible future order that the apex court may gag the media in the case.
“This is not fair to me. This you cannot do,” the CJI responded and asked Jaising to retract and apologise forthwith. The woman lawyer retracted her statement and tendered an apology.
Earlier, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had recused itself from hearing two petitions, filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla and a Maharashtra journalist BS Lone on the issue from hearing and had said that let the matter be posted before “an appropritate bench”.
In pursuance of that order these two matters were listed before the bench headed by the CJI.
The Loya case was one of those which was indicated by the four senior most apex court judges — justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — at their press conference where they had questioned the manner in which sensitive cases were being allocated.
(With inputs from agencies)