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Verdict in judge Loya's case 'unfortunate', its a 'black day' for SC: Prashant Bhushan

By Vikas

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, one of the petitioners seeking SIT probe into judge BH Loya's death case, on Thursday cried foul over Supreme Court's decision and dubbed it as "unfortunate".

The Supreme Court today (April 19) rejected a petition that sought for a SIT probe into the death of the judge, B H Loya. The court while rejecting the petition that sought for a probe by the Special Investigation Team said that there was an attempt by the petitioners to malign the judiciary.

File photo of senior advocate Prashant Bhushan

Speaking to the media after the SC verdict, Bhushan asked how can the apex court arrive at this decision based on the statements of four judges which were not even on an affidavit.

"Its a black day for the Supreme Court," he said.

The case had seen highly charged arguments with allegations and counter allegations being made. The highest decibel argument was however advanced by counsel Dushyant Dave who had argued in favour of a SIT probe while calling the death of the judge suspicious in nature.

The order was passed by a Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra which said that there was already a probe conducted and the death was due to natural causes. In this context a separate probe will not be necessary the court also said.

Meanwhile, the BJP hailed the verdict and said that those politicising the judiciary "stand exposed".

"The people who have been politicizing the judiciary for their own motives, now stand exposed," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

"The verdict in Judge Loya case has exposed the Congress once again. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of the country. They have tried to create such an environment that develops negative emotions. in people for the govt. Welcome the decision of SC," UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told ANI.

Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, on his part, said the petition seeking a SIT probe into the matter was aimed at attacking "some senior functionaries of the current government".

The apex court also observed that these days an avalanche of PILs are being filed to settle business and political scores and the judiciary is unnecessarily made to spend precious time looking into such PILs which leads to delay in giving justice in other cases.

The court said that petitioners' advocates Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan launched a frontal attack on the judiciary by telling SC to disbelieve three judicial officers who accompanied Loya to Nagpur, stayed with him at a guest house and said Loya died of a heart attack.

[SC junks plea to probe judge Loya's death: The 14 top observations]

The court also said that during the arguments the counsel for to maintain institutional civility towards the judges of the SC and made wild allegations. It would have been ideal to initiate contempt proceedings against the petitioners in such a case where a political rivalry is brought to the court to malign the judiciary. PILs were meant to provide succour to the downtrodden and voiceless, but now have become an industry to settle business and political rivalry, the court also observed. The court also said that the allegations against judges were a "vituperative assault on the judiciary."

The issue of Loya's death had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister had fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding it and its link to the Sohrabuddin case. But Loya's son had on January 14 said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.

[No probe into judge Loya's death: 'Don't settle political scores in court', says SC]

In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah along with Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin have already been discharged. Several accused, including police personnel, are currently facing trial for their involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their associate Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat in November 2005. The case was later transferred to CBI and the trial shifted to Mumbai.

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