The Supreme Court on Monday decided to take over all cases related to the mysterious death of the special CBI judge, BH Loya. The top court also directed the High Courts across the country not to entertain any PILs related to Judge Loya’s death.
The court has now fixed 2 February for the next hearing of the case. The matter was earlier scheduled to be heard by a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, but the decision by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, had served as a trigger point for the top four senior most judges of the Supreme Court to lodge their protest before the national media in the form of an extraordinary press conference.
Faced with an unprecedented protest, Justice Mishra had later recused himself from the case prompting CJI Misra to head the bench himself.
The Maharashtra government on Monday presented documents related to the Judge Loya’s death case before the Supreme Court, which said that issues raised in the current petitions were serious and “we must look into all documents with utmost seriousness,” reported Times of India.
Bar and Bench website reported that during the hearing in the Supreme Court, two veteran lawyers, Dushyant Dave and Harish Salve, engaged themselves in a heated war of words.
“Salve has appeared for Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case. He is now appearing for Maharashtra. This is a serious conflict of interest”, Dave was quoted as saying. This prompted Salve to made an intervention, but Dave continued, “Salve, you have done enough damage to the institution. Your Lordships should not permit Salve to address the court in this matter.”
Dave asked Salve not to give him “lectures on morality.” At this point, Salve responded, “You are the one who does that. I don’t need your certificate.”
Addressing the bench, Dave said, “We are happy to assist you. But Your Lordships should intervene and stop people with conflict of interest.” To which the Justice Chandrachud said, “Let us not allow the matter to be deflected by referring to conflict of interest. Who should appear for whom is left to your [Bar’s] conscience.”
Justice Chandrachud was quoted by LiveLaw as saying, ““Please do not cast aspersions or comment on such things. We all are the holders of our own conscience. It is for the advocates to decide whether or not they should appear in any matter.”
Salve is appearing on behalf of the state of Maharashtra.