19/04/2018 12:49 PM IST | Updated 19/04/2018 6:11 PM IST

Supreme Court Rejects Pleas For Independent Probe Into Judge Loya's Death, Calls Them 'Attack On Judiciary'

"Business rivalries to be resolved in market and political rivalries in the hall of democracy"

Ramesh Lalwani
Apex court in India

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of judge BH Loya, saying the petitions were 'frivolous' and a 'frontal attack' on the judiciary.

According to Live Law the Supreme Court said, "There is no reason to disbelieve the sequence of events leading to the death as narrated by the four judicial officers namely Shrikant Kulkarni, Shriram Modak, R. Rathi and Vijay Kumar Barde and the assertions of Bombay High Court Justices Bhushan Gawai and Sunil Shukre."

The petitions were filed after a story by The Caravan that reported Loya's family suspecting foul play. The editor-in-chief of the magazine has said that they stand by the 22 stories that they published about the case.

Hartosh Singh Bal, an editor with The Caravan, tweeted saying the facts spoke for themselves irrespective of the judgement.

Prashant Bhushan, one of the petitioners said on Twitter:

Reacting to the verdict, senior advocate Indira Jaising -- who appeared for the inteveners in the case -- took to Twitter saying:

She later said that she stood by all her petitions in the Loya case:

While Loya is said to have died of a cardiac arrest in 2014, several reports in the last few months have suggested foul play. Loya died while presiding over CBI court hearings in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was a main accused. The judge who had replaced Loya ruled that there was not enough evidence against Shah in the case.

According to a report in The Times of India, a bench including CJI Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the barrage of PILs seeking an independent probe in the case was delaying justice in other cases.

NDTV reported the court as saying, "Business rivalries to be resolved in market and political rivalries in the hall of democracy. It is the court's duty to protect law."

The Supreme Court is said to have harshly criticised the advocates, Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan and said it was a "frontal attack on the judiciary" because the petitions wanted the court to disbelieve the judges who had accompanied Loya to Nagpur.

The court also called the petitions politically motivated and serving a personal agenda.

Five petitions were filed seeking an independent inquiry into Loya's death after a Caravan story in November 2017 in which Loya's family had alleged they were suspicious about the circumstances under which he had died. They had alleged that the hospital documents could have been tampered with.

Yet another report in March questioned the statements made by the four judges who had accompanied Loya to Nagpur.