New Delhi: Hours after the BJP slammed the Congress for raising questions over the Supreme Court verdict rejecting a batch of pleas seeking a probe into the alleged mysterious death of judge BH Loya, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that 'most Indians, including those in the BJP, understand the truth about Amit Shah'.
The special CBI judge had died of 'cardiac arrest' in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
"Indians are deeply intelligent. Most Indians, including those in the BJP, instinctively understand the truth about Amit Shah. The truth has its own way of catching up with people like him," the Congress president tweeted.
Indians are deeply intelligent. Most Indians, including those in the BJP, instinctively understand the truth about Mr Amit Shah. The truth has its own way of catching up with people like him.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 19, 2018
Here's what the government said:
Hitting back at the Congress, the government on Thursday said that the judiciary cannot be "misled" by allegations based on political vendetta. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, posting a series of tweets, came down heavily on "several attempts" to target the BJP and its top leaders through "fake" cases.
"It is extremely unfortunate that there have been several attempts of targeting the BJP and assassinating the character of its top leaders on the basis of fake facts. These attempts have failed miserably once again," he tweeted. Singh also said that the apex court's order had also raised serious questions on the intention of filing such PILs.
"The SC has also cautioned against the misuse of courts in a political tug of war. The verdict gives a clear message that the judiciary cannot be misled by allegations based on political vendetta," he said.
Another Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "This case was not activated to serve the public interest but to serve the interests of Congress and damage the interests of BJP, our party president Amit Shah in particular."
He added, "Court said political battles must be fought on political grounds. It clearly means that the case was fought as a political battle against our party president. I urge Rahul Gandhi (Congress president) not to fight political battles through corridors of court," as per ANI.
Here's what the Congress said:
The Congress on Thursday said that it was a sad letter day in the country's history and pitched for a fair probe into the matter. Attacking the BJP for accusing Rahul as being the 'invisible hand' behind the petitions seeking the probe, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed the allegations as a malicious attempt which showed the ruling party's jitteriness.
"It is a sad letter day in India's history. The suspicious circumstances in which Loya died, was a matter of deep concern for those who have faith in the judiciary. The copy of the entire judgment is not yet available. But there are still questions before those who believe in the judiciary," he told reporters.
Surjewala raised ten questions relating to the case as he criticised the verdict and noted that issue of criminality can be decided only through a probe, contending that no investigation was done into the death of Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, PTI reported.
"In this background, the BJP's attempt to make false capital out of the SC judgment must be condemned with strongest possible words," the Congress leader added.
He also stressed that the Congress was not among the petitioners seeking a probe into the judge's death and recalled that the party had instead approached the people's court and approached President Ram Nath Kovind along with 14 other opposition parties.
Loya death: SC says attempts to scandalise judiciary, dismisses pleas
The SC on Wednesday dismissed pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of Loya, ruling that the judge died of natural causes and the petitions were a serious attempt to scandalise and obstruct the course of justice.
The apex court also held that all litigations concerning circumstances of the death of judge Loya are concluded with this judgement. The top court dubbed the PILs into the death of judge Loya, as frivolous and motivated litigations to settle political scores and rivalry were behind the "facade of the PIL" to malign the dignity of judicial officers and Bombay High Court judges, as per PTI.
The top court said the judicial process will be reduced to a "charade" if the courts are burdened with such cases with extraneous reasons. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said there was no reason to doubt the statements of four judges on the circumstances leading to Loya's death and the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the death was due to natural cause.
The top court, which was critical of the petitioners and their lawyers for casting insinuations against the judicial officers and judges, said an attempt was made to cause prejudice against them and was a "vituperative assault on the judiciary." It said that with these petitions it becomes clear that "a real attempt and frontal attack" was made on the independence of the judiciary and the present case was a manifestation to carry forward a personal agenda.
The petitioners had launched a veiled attempt to malign the judiciary and the credibility of judicial institutions was questioned, the three-judge bench said and criticised the attempts by senior advocates and activist lawyers Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan to make insinuations against judges, including that of the apex court.
(With Agency inputs)