On January 12, Justice Mishra had said the issue was serious and will see all documents and had asked lawyer for Maharashtra government to take instructions.
Allocation of the case to the bench headed by justice Arun Mishra had created a controversy with the four seniormost judges who called a press conference to lash out at the Chief Justice Dipak Misra too opposing it.
They had said in a letter to CJI: “There have been instances where cases having far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution had been assigned by the Chief justices of this court selectively to the benches “of their preferences” without any rationale basis for such assignment. This must be guarded against at all costs. Such departure has already damaged the image of the institution to some extent.
The journalist’s petition said there are several contradictory materials relating to the death and the court should pass directions for independent probe into it.
The 48-year-old judge – who was hearing the CBI case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused but later got discharged – had died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend a wedding on December 1, 2014.
Recently, a petition making a similar prayer was filed in the Bombay High Court. It was filed by the Bombay Lawyers’ Association, and sought commission of inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge.
Last month, 470 members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar wrote to the Chief Justice of India and forwarded the representation to judges of the Supreme Court and the acting chief justice of the Bombay High Court seeking a probe into the death.
Earlier, a criminal writ petition was filed at the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court seeking an investigation into the death of judge Loya and advocate Shrikant Khandalkar to be conducted outside Maharashtra.
Supreme Court senior advocate Dushyant Dave, too, had said the judiciary must order independent investigation in the Loya case.
His close family members had first said they feel very strongly that there was some foul play in his death
In October 2017, the Caravan reported that Loya’s family members claimed that the 48-year-old’s death was suspicious. Relying on a report in the Caravan Magazine, joined as a respondent in the PIL, the lawyers’ association contended that the news report that quoted members of Loya’s family, claiming he was under tremendous pressure while he presided over the alleged Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case