Treating Loya case seriously, will order probe if necessary: Supreme Courtindia Updated: Feb 20, 2018 09:07 IST
The matter will next be heard on March 5.(HT Photo)
The Supreme Court on Monday said it was looking at the case pertaining to special CBI judge BH Loya seriously and said it would order a probe if there was sufficient evidence to raise suspicion on the circumstances surrounding his death.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra assured senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who alleged that pressure was being exerted on some lawyers not to appear in the case, that it would “accord highest amount of seriousness” in hearing the case. “We are duty bound to do so,” Justice DY Chandrachud told Dave, asking him to place relevant material in his possession to justify his plea for an independent probe.
Judge Loya died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. The judge was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and questions have been raised about the circumstances around his death, which several Opposition parties have called “mysterious” and have even made a representation to the President seeking an independent probe. Senior advocate Dave, appearing for an advocates’ body from Mumbai, complained that the Bar Council of India (BCI) had issued him a notice accusing him of “misconduct” as he had made statements related to the case in newspapers, TV channels and in the court. This, he said, amounted to exerting pressure on lawyers for raising the issue.
The BCI, he submitted, is a regulatory body for legal education and cannot “intimidate” lawyers.
The Chief Justice told Dave that nobody can stop anyone from appearing in the case. “We are not taking any note of the BCI notice. You can argue. You have the liberty and freedom to argue. BCI is not here. We are hearing you. If there is some kind of suspicion in this case and calls for an investigation, we will definitely proceed to consider it,” he said.
Dave also complained that senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Maharashtra government, had not supplied him many documents on which he relied while opposing the petitions for probe. To this, the bench told Rohatgi it will not look into any documents that has not been supplied to Dave.
The matter will next be heard on March 5.