The Supreme Court on Friday was told that the procedure followed by police in the wake of Special CBI Judge B M Loya's death and the circumstances surrounding it was in breach of the criminal code that requires police to lodge an FIR and file a closure report.
Telling the Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud that the procedure followed to inquire into the death of judge Loya in Nagpur was in violation of Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, senior counsel Indira Jaising took the court to the contradictions and discrepancies in the report submitted by Maharashtra government.
Pointing to the lacunae in the police probe after Loya's death on December 1, 2014, she said that he had no clinical history of cardiovascular or any other ailments like hypertension or diabetes or any other disease.
He was a teetotaller and led an active life playing tennis every day for two hours, the court was told.
Jaising told the Bench that similarly his family too had no history of any cardiac ailment, hypertension or diabetes, and subsequently referred to the statement by his son seeking probe into the death of his father.
The top court was told this in the course of the hearing of two petitions and other intervention applications seeking an independent probe into the death of Special CBI Court judge Loya who was holding the trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case.
Judge Loya had died on December 1, 2014, in Nagpur where he had gone to attend a wedding. In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case, current BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused but later discharged.
As Jaising dwelt upon these aspects, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra, took exception to the extent an intervener can be allowed to dwell into various aspects of a criminal case.
A visibly displeased Rohtagi took exception to the extent of the area covered by Jaising. He wondered if all the four judicial officers who have given statements saying that judge Loya had died a premature but natural death were lying.
Rohatgi said that what Jaising was saying was "ill-founded" and she was promoting "yellow journalism" but she retorted: "Yellow, blue, red. That's your choice. Choose whichever colour you want."
Another counsel appearing for All India Lawyers Union urged the court that trial court judges hearing high profile cases should get security cover.
As he told the court there should be cooling off period before a former judge is picked up for some other responsibilities and PIL promoting political gains should be discouraged, the court said that he was expanding the scope of the PIL before it.
The hearing will continue on February 12 when senior counsel Rohatgi will lead the arguments for Maharashtra government.