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Reacting to the Supreme Court order dismissing a set of petitions seeking an SIT probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, the Congress on Thursday said the judgment left many questions unanswered and pitched for a fair investigation in the matter.

"Indians are deeply intelligent".

Amit Shah, president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, had been accused of ordering extra judicial killings in 2005 while serving as home minister in the western state of Gujarat. "By casting unfounded aspersions on the judicial officers who had accompanied judge Loya, the petitioners have revealed real motive of these proceedings which is to bring the judiciary into disrepute on the basis of scurrilous allegations", the bench said. The SC's conclusion that Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was an accused three years ago, died of a heart attack in December 2014 closes the highly politicised case and provides relief to Shah from insinuations that the probe was manipulated. Shah was later discharged in the case. Original petitioners before the court were Bombay Advocates Association. The suspicious circumstances in which Loya died, was a matter of deep concern for those who have faith in the judiciary.

He wondered why those in power are "shying away from a probe" if they "agree it is a natural death". "It has exposed the dirty design of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the country", he told reporters here.

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"It is a travesty of justice in the guise of demanding independence of judiciary as if there is a great danger to this institution", the court said. Addressing the media, Congress leader Randeep S Surjewala said, "The verdict marks a sad day in India's history". He dubbed it as "black day" and said that the apex court has given its judgement primarily based on the statement made by four high court judges, but their statements were not even taken on affidavit. "We reject and condemn the malicious attempts of BJP to misinterpret Supreme Court judgment for finger-pointing", he added.

Joint Police Commissioner of Nagpur Shivaji Bodkhe said the "petitions were wrong as they were unaware of the truth".

On the plea that the judicial officers have to be cross-examined, as there are inherent contradictions in their statements, the bench said when there is very little proof that they are conspirators in a murder, the court must stand by the statements of the judicial officers.

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