Dushyant Dave seeks to cross-examine 11 people named in documents relating to death of Judge Loya

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave has applied for cross-examination of 11 individuals including late special CBI Judge BH Loya’s relatives and the judges who had accompanied Loya to Nagpur

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Web Desk

The Supreme Court hearing on pleas seeking an independent probe into the death of Special CBI judge BH Loya turned acrimonious on Monday with lawyers for the petitioners exchanging barbs after one of the petitioners seeking a probe appeared to be diluting his stand. A heated exchange between two senior counsels Dushyant Dave and Pallav Sisodia erupted after Dave accused the latter of "sabotage".

While Dave is appearing for Bombay Lawyers Association, Sisodia is appearing for Maharashtra-based journalist Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone. Both had moved the top court seeking an independent probe into the death of Judge Loya, who was presiding over the special CBI court holding trial into Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shoot out case in which BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused, but later discharged.

Asking the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud to pass "appropriate orders" including about "accountability of persons responsible", Sisodia, in his two page note said: "...an independent probe can't be one way traffic in which persons making allegations can just 'hit and run' without any responsibility to damages caused to the reputation, prestige and faith in institutions" including the top court and judiciary as a whole. Dave, who had concluded his arguments on last Friday, described the position articulated by Sisodia on behalf of his client as "sabotage". Dave also again raised the issue that senior counsel Harish Salve had appeared for Amit Shah and was now appearing for Maharashtra government, and alleged that Salve is trying to protect Shah.

“I need not present a prima facie case. Threshold is a strong suspicion causing alert that it warrants an investigation,” said V Giri, concluding his arguments

Earlier, arguing for a petitioner, senior counsel V Giri pointed to the discrepancies in the documents submitted by the Maharashtra government relating to Judge Loya's case. He said that the statements of 16 people have not been recorded and it gives enough reasons to arouse suspicion. "I need not present a prima facie case. Threshold is a strong suspicion causing alert that it warrants an investigation," Giri said concluding his arguments.

In the course of the hearing, Dave sought the court's permission to file an application seeking to cross-examine the people named in the documents relating to the death of Judge Loya. The application was filed later in the day.

According to the website livelaw.in, the persons include:

  • Sanjeev Barve, Director General/Commissioner, State Intelligence Department, Maharashtra
  • Dr Prashant Bajrang Rathi, Resident of Sai Regency, Ravi Nagar, Nagpur
  • NiranjanTakle, who first reported the story for Caravan magazine
  • Srikant D Kulkarni, Member Secretary, Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority
  • SM Modak, Principal District Judge, Pune
  • Vijay C Barde, Additional Sessions Judge, City Civil and Sessions Court, Greater Bombay
  • Dr Pinak Gangadhar Rao Dande, Ram Nagar, Nagpur
  • Anuj Brijgopal Loya s/o Late Sh BH Loya
  • Sharmila Brijgopal Loya, w/o Late Sh BH Loya
  • Harkishan Ramchandra Loya, f/o Late Sh BH Loya
  • Dr Anuradha Balaprasad Biyani, sister of Late Sh BH Loya

Dave also sought the nod of the court to file a video recording of the statements of Loya's father and sister, which he said were at variance with the one submitted by police.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising told the court that the register maintained at Ravi Bhawan where judge Loya had stayed, did not have his name or that of other two judges. She also wondered how can three judges stay in a room which was meant for two only, that too when other rooms were available in the guest house.

The next hearing in the case is on Friday, February 9.

With IANS inputs.

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