Don’t cast aspersions. As of date, records suggest Judge Loya died a natural death
In a timely and just intervention, the Supreme Court of India, despite the unfortunate controversy surrounding it as an institution generated by the actions of four of its own, has transferred all cases relating to the circumstances around the death of District Judge BH Loya to itself. It must be said that some pretty wild allegations have been made and ideologically slanted narratives been peddled around his tragic death. Perhaps the fact that some of these have come from those claiming legal expertise though many others with equal if not more regard for the law and the judicial process are firmly of the view that this is nothing more than a fishing expedition – enjoined the Supreme Court to term the matter arising out of the death of Judge Loya as a “serious” issue. In any event, the apex court has in a display of great wisdom and maturity gone the extra mile by asserting that it would meticulously and objectively examine every document submitted by the State and the petitioners to put at rest all speculation of foul play in the passing of Judge Loya.
In what can only be seen as a rap on the knuckles for those who have been using their position in a highly irresponsible and primafacie defamatory manner to bandy about names, the Supreme Court specifically asked the Petitioners not to cast any aspersions because the records as on date suggest that Judge Loya died a natural death. Further, the three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra did not accept the plea of the Petitioners to let the two Public Interest Litigations pending before the Bombay High Court be heard by that Court, instead agreeing with the State’s argument that given the unseemly and unnecessary row over the case it should be settled once and for all by the top court of the country. It may be pertinent to point out that the apex court does not as part of normal practice withdraw to itself petitions pending before High Courts unless the issue has been filed in petitions before more than one High Court. That it did so in this instance only goes to show that it recognizes the potential for unending and highly damaging bickering in the public sphere till there is finality in the case. lt behaves all concerned now to submit all documents including those in sealed covers and make their arguments before the Supreme Court to examine and hear respectively. As the Bench observed to both the Counsels for the State and the Petitioners, “Each of you is the judge of your own conscience. We would like to see every record and will not restrict our attention to only those records produced by the State.”
The only request any law-abiding citizen of India can and should make to all concerned is that once the process of justice delivery and due process is over, the Supreme Court ruling on the matter must bring closure to an issue that threatens to tear apart our very belief that the Rule of Law is sacrosanct to all despite vehement disagreements. Without this assurance, we are verily nothing more than a banana republic.