The judge Loya case has taken centre stage and the Supreme Court is now seized off the matter. The SC has directed none of the High Courts to entertain any plea relating to the death of the former CBI judge who was hearing the Sohrabuddin case.
While the SC will now hear the matter, arguments on Monday witnessed a heated pitch with senior advocates having heated exchanges among each other.
Harish Salve appearing for the government of Maharashtra said an inquiry was conducted following the death of the judge. It was ascertained that Loya died of a massive heart attack. The inquiry report was submitted to the Bombay High Court, he said.
Dushyant Dave appearing for the Bombay Lawyers Association said that he wanted to be an intervener in the case. He sought to know why the family of the judge was not kept in the loop when the report said that the evidence was contrary to nature. They were not invited to the hospital where the post-mortem took place. I am not claiming personal interest, but to investigate the matter, Dave also said.
Dave then took on Salve and called his appearance in this case as a conflict of interest. He appeared for Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case and now he is appearing for the state of Maharashtra. The only one who wants the probe stalled is his man. He cannot appear for Maharashtra as it amounts to a serious conflict of interest, Dave further said.
Salve shot back by saying that some are trying to use the death of a judge. Enough damage has already been caused. Dave shot back and said, "Salve you have done enough damage to this institution.
Salve hit back by saying that such remarks should have never been made in the court to which Dave said, " do not give me lectures on morality. " It is you who does that Salve said while adding that he did not need a certificate.
This led to the intervention of Justice Chandrachud who said that there is no need to cast any aspersions or comment on such things. We are the holders of our own conscience and it is for the advocates to decide whether or not to appear in any matter.
Mukul Rohatgi also appearing for the state of Maharashtra questioned Dave's locus standi. He has no locus standi to appear in this matter. Why should the court hear the Bombay Lawyers Association, he asked.
Dave said that the uncle and sister of the judge want a probe into the matter. The son initially wanted it, but retracted under pressure he said.
Salve then said they had spoken to the highest level of people while preparing the report.
To this Dave shot back by saying, " if it is a heart attack, why are you objecting to the probe?" Rohatgi intervenes and tells Dave, " what are you trying to imply. Four independent judges have spoken to the police. Their statements are there, which state conclusively that the judge died of a heart attack."
As the arguments were concluding, Salve interrupted and sought a gag order on the media. To this Indira Jaisingh, another intervener in the matter opposed Salve.
Salve shot back by saying that these are sensitive issues and should not be discussed in the media. Dave hit back by saying, the matters of Tharoor and Chidambaram are discussed widely in the media.
Justice Khanwilkar interrupted and asked, how can matters that are sub-judice be discussed in the media. Dave replied, " your Lordships cannot stop the nation from discussing. How is that even possible. We will discuss it even if it is sub-judice.