Independent probe in Justice Loya death case? SC may decide today

The Supreme Court had earlier asked the Maharashtra Government to submit the postmortem report of the CBI judge, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case at the time of his death.

Independent probe in Justice Loya death case? SC may decide today

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on Thursday on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya. An SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra will hear the petitions in the case on Thursday. The apex court had earlier asked the Maharashtra Government to submit the postmortem report of the CBI judge, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case at the time of his death.

The Maharashtra government had argued in the apex court that all pleas seeking an independent probe into Loya's death were motivated and aimed at targeting "one individual" in the guise of upholding the rule of law.

While the Maharashtra court had come down heavily on alleged accusations by some activist lawyers, those seeking an independent probe into the matter had referred to the sequence of events to highlight that a fair investigation was needed to rule out any foul play in the death.

The issue of Loya's death had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister had fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding it and its link to the Sohrabuddin case. But Loya's son had on January 14 said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.

In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, BJP President Amit Shah along with Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin have already been discharged.

Several accused, including police personnel, are currently facing trial for their involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their associate Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat in November 2005. The case was later transferred to CBI and the trial shifted to Mumbai.

A batch of pleas, including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based B S Lone, was filed in the top court seeking an independent probe into Loya's death in 2014.

(With PTI inputs)

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