Supreme Court of Bharat has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the alleged mysterious death of special CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. SC has also come down hard on petitioners, who include some famous Lutyens’ laywers, for trying to defame the judiciary and misusing PILs to fight political & business battles.
Justice Loya died of a cardiac arrest while in Nagpur to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter on December 1, 2014. His death soon become an object of intense speculation in left-liberal circles (media, activists, politicians and intellectuals) since he was investigating the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which BJP President Amit Shah was implicated.
A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed today that that there was no reason to doubt the statement made by four judges who were there with Loya at the time of his death, and the bench was of the opinion that doubting their statements would amount to doubting the integrity of the institution, India Today reported -.
“There is no merit in the case. There will be no probe into Loya’s death,” the Supreme Court bench observed. “The public interest litigations (PILs) were filed to settle political scores and scandalise the judiciary and the process of law.”
The Supreme Court bench also said the statements made by the various petitioners in the case could amount to a “criminal contempt of court”. The court, however, said that it was not initiating civil contempt against the petitioner for scandalising the judiciary.
The bench observed, “There is a large public interest to uphold independence of judiciary,” and that there is “great danger” if this state of affairs is allowed to continue. Talking about the PILs filed, the bench said, “Such petitions have potential to endanger judicial system.
The Supreme Court bench was of the opinion that the petitions are frontal attack on the judiciary and that it became apparent that people behind these petitions have agendas.”
Times of India reports that the SC bench said that during the arguments counsel forgot to maintain institutional civility towards SC judges and made wild allegations –
“The SC said PILs, which were meant to provide succour to the downtrodden and voiceless, have now become an industry to settle scores political and personal. It said the judiciary is unnecessarily being made to spend precious time looking into such PILs which leads to delay in giving justice in other cases.
Justice Chandrachud said when the Loya matter was brought to the SC, a magazine and a daily newspaper published motivated reports to malign judiciary.”
Who were the petitioners & their lawyers?
LiveLaw.in reports that the petitions in the Loya case were filed by ‘activist’ Tehseen Poonawala (represented by V. Giri), the Bombay Lawyers Association (represented by Dushyant Dave), Maharashtra-based journalist Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone (represented by Pallav Shishodia), NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) (founded by Shanti Bhushan, Fali Nariman, Rajinder Sachar etc.), Former chief of the navy Admiral L. Ramdas (represented by Indira Jaising), All India Lawyers’ Union (represented by P. V. Surendranath)
Let’s look at the backgrounds of some of the key players/institutions –
- Tehseen Poonawalla is a serial propagandist who is widely promoted as a ‘neutral commentator’ on certain TV channels. He is Robert Vadra’s brother-in-law and has vocally supported all pro-Congress campaigns like Rising Intolerance, lynchistan (he even proposed a bizarre law MASUKA for this), Christians under attack etc. But his real claim to fame is a series of obscene offensive tweets against Union Minister Smriti Irani.
- CPIL founders
- Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant Bhushan are self-styled legal vigilantes, who were at the forefront of the anti-corruption movement, but later had a public falling out with Arvind Kejriwal. Prashant Bhushan supports Kashmiri separatists and has even levelled bribery allegations against PM Modi. He once called Sri Krishna a ‘legendary eve-teaser’ while mocking the anti-Romeo police squads created by UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
- Fali Nariman is a legal luminary whose son Rohinton is an SC judge. Fali Nariman has been at the forefront of the ‘secularism is about to fall‘ brigade which has gone into overdrive after May 2014, but who were conspicuously silent when Sonia Gandhi mutilated the Constitution to pass the 93rd amendment (which later birthed the sectarian RTE law) and when her Government proposed the blatantly anti-Hindu CVB (Communal Violence Bill). Nariman has also opposed the Government’s move to deport illegal Rohingya immigrants, and claimed the Constitution is ‘under threat’ as a priest (Yogi Adityanath) has been made CM.
- Rajinder Sachar is a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and has served as a counsel for the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. He is most (in)famous for the deeply flawed 2006 Sachar Committee report on the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in Bharat, which formed the basis of Manmohan Singh’s “Muslims have the first right on resources” remark. Justice Sachar was part of the cream of Indian liberals including Mr. Kuldip Nayar, Mr. Dileep Padgaonkar, Mr. Gautam Navlakha etc. who attended seminars promoting the Kashmir separatist agenda organized in USA by Pakistani spy Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai.
- Admiral L. Ramdas is an ex Chief of Indian Navy. He was AAP’s internal Lokpal, his wife Lalita has served as the chair of Greenpeace International, and their daughter Kavita is the India representative of the controversial Ford Foundation (considered to be a front of the US deep state). Admiral Ramdas was the winner of the Ramon Magasaysay award in 2004, a Filipino award funded by US based Rockefeller Brothers Fund & Ford Foundation. Ramdas has been a prominent ‘civil society’ critic of the Modi Government, and a member of the Pak-appeasing ‘Aman ki Asha’ lobby.
- Dushyant Dave had alleged that SC Judge Arun Mishra, who was earlier part of the bench hearing the Loya case, had ‘close links’ with BJP leaders since some BJP ministers (along with leaders of other political parties) were seen at his nephew’s wedding reception in Delhi. Dave was issued a showcause notice by Bar Council of India for “derogatory comments against the Chief Justice of India, smacking of personal vendetta” while appearing on an NDTV show. During the Loya hearing, SC had rebuked Dave when he vented that “all this is being done to save Amit Shah”. Dave has appeared for PFI-linked Shafin Jehan in the Hadiya (Akhila) case, wherein he along with lawyers Kapil Sibal, Indira Jaising and Marzook Bafaki received close to Rs. 1 crore as fees from PFI. Dave is also representing the Sunni Wakf Board in the Ram Janmabhoom Ayodhya case, along with Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhawan. Dave has also been vocal on all the usual left-liberal causes that have dominated media narrative since May 2014.
- Indira Jaising runs an NGO ‘Lawyers Collective’ along with her husband Anand Grover, who is also a lawyer – minutes after the SC rejected Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s plea for stay on his execution, Grover had said, “These blood-thirsty people will hang Yakub tomorrow.” In 2016, her NGO’s license was cancelled for flouting FCRA norms – she had illegally accepted foreign funds during her term as Additional Solicitor General of India during UPA rule – and for other activities inimical to the country’s interest. Jaising had also recently accused ‘Supreme Court justices of diluting the SC/ST Act and favouring Brahmins’.
What was media’s role?
As per OpIndia, Justice Chandrachud had previously remarked while hearing the Loya case that the judges needed to see everything, and couldn’t base their analysis solely on articles which appeared in Caravan, Indian Express, The Wire or Scroll.
Most of the controversy over Judge Loya’s death was triggered by several reports published in the Caravan magazine that allegedly quoted immediate members of Loya’s family questioning the circumstances of his death. The allegations raked up Caravan were lustily repeated by hard-left Hinduphobic propaganda outlets like The Wire, Scroll etc.
In January this year, Judge Loya’s son Anuj Loya has said the family no longer has any suspicion about the death. “There was some suspicion before due to emotional turmoil, but now it is clear,” Anuj Loya told reporters.
Leading newspapers like Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express etc have given disproportionate space to the allegations levelled by the petitioners in this case. Only a few reports like this one, which found that many claims made by Caravan were factually incorrect, have presented the other side.
Incidentally, Caravan‘s current political editor Hartosh Singh Bal is a virulent Modi-baiter and the ideological leanings of other key players at the magazine like Executive Editor Vinod K Jose (a Jamia Milia alumni and supporter of Afzal Guru) have been analyzed in depth in this brilliant India Facts piece.
Who else supported a probe into Judge Loya’s “mysterious” death?
This case had also become a rallying point for Opposition parties led by Congress, which said that there was a ‘threat to democracy’ when lawyers and judges working on important cases were targeted. Congress president Rahul Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind with a group of lawmakers, asking for an independent investigation into judge Loya’s death.
One hopes that this SC ruling becomes a landmark judgement and the legal fraternity in the country is able to break free of the colonized mindset which the elite Lutyens lawyer cabal has perpetuated.
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