SC's Loya death verdict triggers BJP-Congress war
The SC's refusal to order an independent probe in Judge BH Loya's death has opened a political war. According to Congress, it was "a sad day in India's history." "The SC verdict has left many questions unanswered," including discrepancies in his post-mortem report, said spokesperson RS Surjewala. But BJP hailed the verdict, with spokesperson Sambit Patra accusing Congress of being behind the "motivated" petition.
Loya, who was presiding over the trial of Amit Shah and Gujarat police officers in the "fake" encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi, died on December 1, 2014, in Nagpur. Initial reports claimed he had a heart attack. But last year, The Caravan published allegations made by Loya's family, who mentioned several discrepancies in what actually happened and what was reported.
In January, the SC noted that Loya's death was indeed a "serious matter," but in an about-turn, it has now concluded that pleas seeking an independent probe are "frivolous," "motivated," and a "veiled attempt to launch a frontal attack on the independence of judiciary." Saying it was sparing the petitioners of contempt action, it said there was no reason to disbelieve reports of the four judicial officers involved.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the judgement might raise more questions than answer them. "Dispassionate analysis of Loya judgement must await its full reasoning. SC can remove suspicious features only by dealing with them directly," he said. However, Salman Khurshid and Shivaki Bodkhe accepted the verdict. "Many would be deeply disappointed, but if SC takes a view we have to respect it," Khurshid said.
am prepared 2accept a)heavy emphasis in sc Loya re veracity of accompanying judges b)anguish re scandalous args(c)initiation of contempt if it arises(d)provided it is accompanied by solid reasons rebutting the 7/8 suspicious circs raised. Absent that, above lamentations nt enuff.— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) April 19, 2018
Patra, meanwhile, described the PIL as "political interest litigation," adding Rahul should be "ashamed" and "apologize" to Amit Shah, the judiciary and democracy for the "new low." The Congress wanted to settle political scores through petitions as they were incapable of winning electorally, Patra said. UP CM Yogi Adityanath too welcomed the verdict, saying it had "exposed the Congress once again."
The verdict in #JudgeLoya case has exposed the Congress once again. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of the country. They have tried to create such an environment that develops negative emotions. in people for the govt. Welcome the decision of SC: UP CM Yogi Adityanath pic.twitter.com/rivzUZnLWZ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 19, 2018