Congress ups ante, seeks Loya probe under SC's watch

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The allocation of the case, involving the Mumbai judge on December 1, 2014, to a Justice Mishra-led bench was cited as one of the reasons by the four senior-most judges to express in public their dissent with the CJI.

The Supreme Court on Friday termed the mysterious death of CBI judge Loya as a "very serious matter" and asked the Maharashtra government to submit the autopsy report.

Shantanagoudar asked the Maharashtra government to file a reply and documents by January 15, the next date of hearing. The Congress President said the death of special CBI judge BH Loya should be looked into by the highest level of the Supreme Court.

The court did not entertain the submission and said, "We will not come in the way".

The Bench, however, went ahead and heard the matter and posted it for further hearing on Monday.

The issue came under the spotlight in November past year after a report in Caravan magazine linked the circumstances surrounding Loya's death to the trial in Sohrabuddin case.

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Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who was also present in the courtroom, said she also had instructions from Bombay Lawyers' Association to pray that the top court should not hear this matter. It said it also wants to see postmortem report of the judge's death.

Earlier on Thursday, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, "sought an urgent hearing on the plea" for a probe into Justice Loya's death on December 1, 2014. "In cases where prima facie material is available to investigate, it is absolutely necessary to order an inquiry", the Congress leader said.

The immediate impetus of this press conference is believed to be the assignment of the investigation into Judge Loya's death to Justice Arun Kumar Misra, a relatively junior judge of the Supreme Court.

Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in 2005 in an alleged fake encounter by a team of the Gujarat police, which claimed that he was a member of the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist outfit.

Before the commencement of hearing senior counsel Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay Lawyers' Association said, the high court was already seized of the matter and the top court should refrain from hearing the issue.

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