Chief Justice Hears PILs on Judge Loya Death Case On Monday

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A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will on Monday, January 22, hear the two PILs case for an independent probe about CBI Judge BH Loya’s death, one of the main triggers for last week’s unprecedented crisis in India’s judiciary.

The Chief Justice’s bench, which also comprises Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, had yesterday fixed the next date of hearing and ordered that the case be put up “before the appropriate Bench as per the roster”.

The supplementary cause list issued on Saturday lists the petitions by social activist Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based journalist Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone before the bench of Chief Justice Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. Earlier, the two petitions were being heard by the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.

Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on 1 December, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

The issue of Loya’s death had come under the spotlight in November 2017 after media reports quoting his sister had termed the circumstances surrounding his death suspicious. However, Loya’s son had on 14 January said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not under suspicious circumstances.

The decision by Justice Mishra’s Bench on January 16 to recuse from hearing the case coincided with the first meeting between Chief Justice and his four senior colleagues to patch up after the latter’s January 12 press meet.

The CJI and the four judges have met once more during the week. More meetings to discuss allocations of cases to Benches and other issues flagged at the press conference are expected. Senior Supreme Court judges like Justices A.K. Sikri and Chandrachud are also part of the hectic parleys.

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