Police procedure after judge Loya’s death violated criminal code, senior counsel Indira Jaising tells Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday was told that the procedure followed by police in the wake of Special CBI Judge BH Loya’s death and the circumstances surrounding it was in breach of the criminal code that requires police to either lodge an FIR or file a closure report.

Telling the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud that the procedure followed was in violation of Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, senior counsel Indira Jaising took the court through the contradictions and discrepancies in the report submitted by Maharashtra government. Pointing to the lacunae in the police probe after Loya’s death on December 1, 2014, she said that he had no clinical history of cardiovascular or any other ailments like hypertension or diabetes or any other disease.

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He was a teetotaller and led an active life playing tennis every day for two hours, the court was told. Jaising told the bench that similarly his family too had no history of any cardiac ailment, hypertension or diabetes, and subsequently referred to the statement by his son seeking probe into the death of his father. The top court is hearing two petitions seeking independent probe into the death of judge Loya who was presiding over the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shoot out case.

Judge Loya had died on December 1, 2014, in Nagpur where he had gone to attend a wedding. In Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shoot out case, BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused but later discharged. As Jaising dwelt upon these aspects, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, took exception to the extent an intervener can be allowed to dwell into various aspects of a criminal case.

A visibly displeased Rohtagi took exception to the extent of the area covered by Jaising. He wondered if all the four judicial officers who have given statement saying that judge Loya had died a premature but natural death were lying.Rohatgi said that what Jaising was saying was “ill-founded” and she was promoting “yellow journalism” but she retorted: “Yellow, blue, red. That’s your choice. Choose whichever colour you want.” The hearing will continue on February 12 when senior counsel Rohatgi will lead the arguments for Maharashtra government.