Judge Loya death 'serious', SC seeks Maharashtra view on probe

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

Now the Bombay Lawyers' Association has alleged that there are efforts to scuttle its Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in this regard at the Bombay High Court. The cases listed for a hearing that day will get deferred to January 16.

Two PILs seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya will not be taken up by the Supreme Court on Monday.

Judge Loya's death has been oft discussed topic on the social media, as people demand a proper inquiry in the case and a balanced justice. A unanimous resolution passed by the SCBA on Saturday said, "All PIL matters including the pending PIL matters should be either taken up by the Honourable Chief Justice of India, or if he has to assign to any other Bench, it should be assigned to the judges in the Collegium".

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Of the two-judge bench presided over by Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, the latter is on leave.

Petitioner Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone, a Maharashtra journalist, has also made the Centre a respondent. His and Tehseen Poonawala's petitions demanding probe by an independent agency virtually split the Supreme Court down the middle. Abdi imputed political motive behind the delay and also alleged that another petition had been filed in the Supreme Court in the matter only "to kill the case before Bombay High Court, and scuttle the entire case".

The registrar reportedly told Abdi he was unable to allot a number for the case as he was busy earlier, Abdi said.

He also said that his family does not have any doubt about the "integrity of investigative agencies".

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"This matter requires bi-party hearing rather than exparte", the court said and asked Maharashtra government counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar to file reply by 15 January. "If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the high court".

Loya died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014 where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.

Congress press conference came after four senior Supreme Court judges in an open letter addressed to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said "democracy is at stake" and "there is serious problem in the functioning of the country's top court".

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