Judge Loya's death, one of the most controversial topics of this and the previous year has turned another interesting corner, as petitions that are seeking independent probe in the death of Loya wll be now heard by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Monday.
Advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for Poonawalla, had said that they wanted clarification on the date of hearing of the petition in the wake of the order passed by a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar.
The four judges, the chief justice's colleagues in the Supreme Court collegium, had in a letter to Misra two months back, complained that politically sensitive cases were being allocated to selected benches. They will resume hearing from the point at which the government of Maharashtra was directed by the previous bench to file on record documents pertaining to judge Loya's death.
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The petitions were filed on January 11.
The counsel for petitioners had told the court that this was a case of alleged mysterious death of a judge, who was hearing a sensitive case, and an independent probe was required.
The stunning press conference and the charge that senior judges were being discriminated against, which initially evoked disbelief and was frowned upon by judges, has served as a catalyst for the CJI to fast-track a process of introduction of reforms in administration of the apex court, mainly to devise a mechanism for transparent assignment of cases to benches.
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However, Loya's son had on January 14, 2018, said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not under suspicious circumstances. At the time of his death, Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused along with several others. Judge Loya's doctor sister Anuradha Biyani raised questions on his death in a Delhi magazine in November, bringing into focus the death buried as heart attack.
The proposal is being discussed not just by them and the CJI but also, in terms of seniority, judges who stand a chance to be a future CJI, the people familiar with the matter added.
At an informal meeting of all judges of the Supreme Court that was convened by the Chief Justice following last Friday's press conference by the four judges, Justice Arun Mishra had reportedly expressed his displeasure against his name being dragged into a controversy by his seniors.
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