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Maharashtra government slams politicization of Justice Loya’s death in Supreme Court

The government of Maharashtra yesterday lashed out at attempted politicization of circumstances surrounding former special CBI judge Justice Loya’s death and argued that any probe into the case will cast serious aspersions on the judiciary.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, while appearing for the state before a bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said that scurrilous allegations have been made against many senior judges, including a former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, under this case.

Salve argued that if a probe is ordered into Justice Loya’s death, then four eminent retired judges will be examined as co-conspirators in the alleged murdered. This would “destroy the credibility” of the judiciary, which should be wound up if it can be controlled by a few men in power, as is being claimed by petitioners in this case, he said.

Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who is also representing Maharashtra in this case, told the court that “apart from politics, there is nothing amiss in the death of Justice B.H. Loya.” He said that the petitioners seeking an investigation into the judge’s death lack honest motives, and they just want to politicize this issue to target one politician (Amit Shah, who was discharged as an accused in this case by Loya’s successor).

There had been many heated exchanges between the bench and advocates for the petitioners, Prashant Bhushan and Dushyant Dave, during a hearing this week in the same case. The court had taken objection to Bhushan’s plea that two judges currently on the bench, Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud, must not hear this matter because they belong to Maharashtra. The court has also expressed displeasure at Dave’s charge that the court was being lenient in questioning the state government in this case.