Above: Supreme Court; (inset) Judge Loya
The Supreme Court bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar was on Tuesday (January 16) given the investigation report on the unusual death of CBI Judge B H Loya by the Maharashtra government in a sealed envelope. When the bench asked for documents from the other side that was also given in a sealed envelope.
The government’s documents came with a rider. ‘Secret’ portions of the documents cannot be disclosed.
The hearing of the case has been postponed for a week, though no particular date has been set.
On the issue of the report given by the Maharashtra government it has been said that of all the documents only the inappropriate ones have been given. It has also been said that the confidential papers should not be made public.
The court asked senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra, “what is in this report that it cannot be given to the petitioner?” Salve said that after the court reads the reports the confidential data should be separated from the rest and not given to the petitioner. The rest can be given.
The court observed that the sensitive portions can be marked and also be given to the petitioner.
The case has assumed huge importance because one of the accused is BJP president Amit Shah.
Incidentally, Loya’s 21-year-old son Anuj had recently held a press conference and said that there was nothing unusual about his father’s death and that it was “of natural causes.” Judge Loya allegedly died of a cardiac arrest away from home while he was the main judge in the case.
While some people have cried foul that Anuj was under pressure from some circles to issue this statement while this case was set to go to hearing, others have cited this to say that there was nothing unusual in the findings.
The case is also important in the bench that is dealing with it. According to the four senior judges of the top court who had held a press conference slamming Chief Justice Dipak Misra for his allegedly “arbitrary” rosters, this particular case was in focus. The four senior judges had felt that this was too hot a case to be handled by a junior judge and should have been given to a senior bench.
—India Legal Bureau