CJI-led bench to hear Loya death case

CJI-led bench to hear Loya death case

A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday will hear two PILs on seeking an independent probe into the death of Mumbai's special judge B H Loya.

Congress sympathiser Tehseen Poonawalla and Maharashtra-based journalist Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone had filed two separate PILs for a fresh probe into Loya's death on December 1, 2014.

The judge was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. BJP president Amit Shah and senior police officers, who faced charges, were exonerated subsequently.

According to the Supreme Court's website, the two PILs have been posted under the category of cases "fresh for admission" as item number 45, before the bench of CJI and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

Notably, both Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud are from Maharashtra.

The assigning of two PILs before a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra earlier had acted as a trigger for four seniormost judges of the apex court to come out in public against the CJI on January 12.

The four judges - Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - had addressed a press conference, accusing the chief justice of allocating cases with far-reaching consequences to select benches.

The two PILs, which were heard two times briefly by Justices Arun Mishra and Justices Mohan M Shantagoundar earlier, were on January 16 directed to be posted before an "appropriate bench".

On Friday, after Poonawalla's counsel sought a listing of the matter, the CJI-led bench had said it would be posted before an "appropriate bench as per the roster".

Now it has emerged that the matter would be heard by a three-judge bench of CJI and Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud.

Loya, 48, had died due to "cardiac arrest" when he went to attend marriage ceremony of his colleague's daughter but his family members raised suspicion over the death in a series of news reports by a magazine. Loya's 21-year-old son, Anuj had on January 14 addressed a press conference and urged politicians and NGOs to stop "harassing" the family. He said he had no suspicions about the way his father died, though earlier he had an emotional turmoil and suspected foul play over his father's demise.

Contentious PILs

The assigning of two PILs before a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra made four judges come out against the CJI.

The four judges had addressed a press conference, accusing the chief justice of allocating cases to select benches.

The two PILs were on January 16 directed to be posted before an "appropriate bench".

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