Supreme Court judgment on Thursday dismissing the Loya PIL petitions systematically countered the major arguments put forth by the petitioners that the death of judge B.H. Loya raised reasonable suspicion of foul play.
The court largely relied on the veracity of the statements submitted by the four judges — Shrikant Kulkarni, S.M. Modak, Vijay Barde and R.R. Rathi — to the Maharashtra State Intelligence in 2017.
One of the first questions raised by the petitioners was why Loya was taken to Dande Hospital in Nagpur and not to a specialised cardiac care facility within a 5-km radius. On this, the court said that with hindsight, it was easy to blame people for their acts done in an emergency situation.
One of the major arguments put forth by the petitioners was that no ECG was taken at Dande Hospital. To this, the court replied that judges Kulkarni, Modak and Barde had all submitted that Loya was “examined” and an ECG was taken at Dande Hospital. Judge Rathi, accompanying them, had said the ECG machine at Dande was not working and they “wasted” time there. Besides, the death summary at Meditrina Hospital, where Judge Loya was declared dead on arrival, specifically said ECG was done at Dande Hospital.
Justice Chandrachud dismissed the allegation that Loya was not taken in a car, but an autorickshaw, to the hospital as a “red herring”.
The petitioners had questioned why Loya was still in his shirt and trousers.
On this, the court referred to Judge Rathi’s statement that when he reached Ravi Bhavan, “Judge Loya was attending to a call of nature.”
“It is evident from the statement that Judge Loya, when he left Ravi Bhavan, was not unconscious and was complaining of chest pain and heart burn,” the court said.