The Supreme Court on Friday termed as a "serious matter" the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, and sought response from Maharashtra government on pleas seeking an independent probe into it. The top court said, "This matter requires bi-party hearing rather than exparte".
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar asked Maharastra government counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar to file reply by January 15.
At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay lawyers association, said the high court is seized of the matter and the apex court should not hear the pleas.
"The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter. If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the high court," Dave said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for one of the petitioners Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone, said that she has also instructions from Bombay lawyers association that this matter should not be heard by the top court.
The bench, however, said it will look into the petitions but will also consider the objections raised.
Advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for another petitioner Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala, said this is a case where a mysterious death of a judge has taken place on December 1, 2014 and it needs to be investigated. The bench then asked Katneshwarkar to file the postmortem report and other relevant documents regarding the death of judge Loya besides taking instruction from the government. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 15.
Loya had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.