By R Sriram, ET Associate Editor
The Supreme Court absolutely destroys petitioners in Judge Loya case: Just finished reading the 114-page judgment of the SC on Thursday and it is brutal in its assault on the tricks employed by Dave/Bhushan/Jaising and company. They have been thoroughly exposed, their attempts to besmirch the judiciary and create alternate reality completely blown away! Two aspects to this judgement. One is evidence aspect and second is attempt to drag the judiciary’s name into mud. The SC judges nail the lies in both cases and the results are crystal clear.
As it set out to hear the case, the SC judges were clear about two things. One, whether judge Loya’s death was unnatural, suspicious; second whether due process was done by Maha govt to establish cause of death and whether a special investigation was necessary. A short thread!
Firstly, the SC nailed several key mistakes made by Caravan magazine and reiterated by petitioners who relied entirely on Caravan’s findings! Petitioners point to alleged suspicious behaviour of judges accompanying Judge Loya on that fateful day and who stayed with him!
Such as judges ordering an auto rickshaw to take Judge Loya to the nearby hospital! This was claimed by Anuradha Biyani, judge Loya’s sister in one of the first Caravan articles. SC says not true and quotes the judges as saying that he was taken in local Judge Barde’s car.
The judge was called to the guest house where everybody was staying that very morning. Second lie! No ECG was performed. Wrong, ECG was not only performed at the Dande hospital and but this was also seen by doctors at Meditrina Hospital when Judge Loya arrived.
A specialist at Mumbai KEM consulted by Nagpur police later confirmed this and the cause of death as stated by doctors at Meditrina where Loya died! Third lie! Judge Loya’s name not recorded in official register at govt guest house in Nagpur so there must be something fishy.
SC brutally demolishes this argument! Is it unnatural for friends/colleagues to stay in the same suite when they are travelling? So what if another judge’s name is recorded in official register and not that of Judge Loya? Does it mean Loya never stayed there?
Fourth lie! There are blood stains on Loya’s dress and body! The KEM doctor consulted by police explains! When the dress is put back on body after post mortem, it is possible for some residual post mortem blood to stick to clothes. Not unusual or unnatural!
Fifth lie! Loya’s body was not accompanied by anybody when it went to ancestral village from Nagpur. Two local judges of Nagpur accompanied the ambulance when it left for funeral! Sixth lie! Petitioners quote doctors in AIIMS and other places as saying that Loya could not have died of cardiac arrest and that histo-pathology report hints at something else. Same doctor RK Sharma in email reply to investigators rubbishes Caravan conclusions and says he has been grossly misquoted. Dr Harish Pathak, head of Forensic medicine at KEM Hospital in Mumbai says Caravan’s report that Judge Loya could not have died of heart attack are highly unsicientific and incorrect! So, medical evidence collected by petitioners has been damned! The SC has some harsh words to say about Prashant Bhushan’s attempts to collect medical evidence in support of his position! Petitioners, the SC says should try and help the court in objective manner.
Bhushan’s efforts border on attempt to misrepresent facts and mislead the courts, SC says. Problem with petitioners is they went off-track, a reading of the judgement shows that Judge Loya’s death was suspicious! Instead they ended up fighting the whole judiciary and questioning motives of Loya’s fellow judges. SC said this is an attempt to make them co-conspirators in an alleged conspiracy!
Petitioners tried to point to small errors to show large conspiracy but this fell flat. It is one thing to say that there is something wrong about Loya’s death. Quite another thing to show that fellow judges who rushed him to hospital and took care of him are the guilty ones because they mispelt his name in hospital records!! In 1976, England cricket captain Tony Greig told his nation’s public that his team would make visiting West Indies team `grovel’. Greig could never live down that comment and was not made to forget it!
The Windies responded in a devastating manner trashing England on way to record win. Hubris and arrogance only leads to grief. The petitioners behaved like Tony Greig. The SC, like the marauding West Indians, showed them their place!