The Maharashtra government on Monday told the Supreme Court that allegations of foul play in the death of Special CBI Judge BH Loya were motivated and levelled after the discharge of BJP chief Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case involving Amit Shah, had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter. Justice Loya’s successor had discharged Amit Shah in the case.
The SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was hearing pleas including those filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based BS Lone seeking an independent probe into Loya's death in 2014.
The bench, which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said that it was treating the case relating to the death of Loya with "utmost seriousness".
The court's remark came after senior advocates for petitioners seeking an independent probe in case relating to the death of Loya slugged it out in the court over alleged pressure being put on them.
Senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Pallav Shishodia said that pressure was being exerted on them to leave the case.
While Dave said the Bar Council of India had recently issued a show cause notice to him for appearing in the case, Shishodia accused Dave of writing an article in the media to put pressure on him for recusing from the matter.
Dave is appearing for Bombay Lawyers' Association, the writ petitioner which has filed the plea originally before the Bombay High Court, which was later transferred to the apex court. Shishodia is appearing for Maharashtra-based journalist B S Lone seeking an independent probe in the matter.
At the fag end of the hearing, Shishodia told the bench, "Mr. Dave is talking about pressure but he himself has written an article in the media to mount pressure on me to recuse from the matter".
To this, Dave said "I stand by my article. You (Shishodia) have earlier appeared for BJP president Amit Shah and are now arguing this case seeking probe into the death of a judicial officer".
The bench said "Whatever be the pressure, we will do our duty".
Shishodia said he was just trying to bring to the notice of court about the article written by Dave.