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Supreme Court to hear PILs seeking probe into special CBI court judge BM Loya's death on Monday

The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on January 12, 2018, when four senior apex court judges had convened an unprecedented press conference raising some issues.

Supreme Court to hear PILs seeking probe into special CBI court judge BM Loya's death on Monday
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday the plea for an independent probe into the circumstances leading to the death of Special CBI court judge BM Loya.

The top court on January 19, 2018, had fixed January 22 for the hearing and had directed listing of petitions before "an appropriate bench".

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D  Chandrachud had said that an appropriate bench of the apex court would hear the petitions filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla and Maharashtra journalist BS Lone.

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.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had on January 16, had ordered the matters to be listed before an appropriate bench and had not fixed any specific date for the hearing.

It had left it to the Maharashtra government to decide which documents, relating to Loya's death, could be handed over to the petitioners.

The state government, which had filed documents in a sealed cover relating to Loya's death, had during the hearing opposed the petitioners' demand that the entire material should be handed over to them for perusal.

The apex court, in its January 16, order, had said, "Let the documents be placed on record within seven days and if it is considered appropriate, copies be furnished to the petitioners. Put up before the appropriate bench".

The case, whose assignment to the bench hearing the PILs was a bone of contention of the unprecedented press conference by four senior-most judges of the apex court on January 12.

The other plea filed by the journalist has submitted that a fair probe was needed into the mysterious death of Loya. A PIL seeking probe into the judge's death was also filed before the Bombay High Court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers' Association.

Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, had allegedly died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 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 fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his death and its link to the Sohrabuddin case.

However, Loya's son had on January 14, 2018, said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not under suspicious circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on January 12, 2018, when four senior apex court judges, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had convened an unprecedented press conference raising some issues, including "selective" allocation of cases by CJI Misra.

On the other hand, CJI has examined suggestions from stakeholders to bring transparency in allocation of sensitive PILs to judges and is likely to bring in the public domain soon the system he is going to adopt for it, PTI quoted sources close to him as saying on Sunday.

The sources said that Justice Misra has held deliberations with fellow judges and also taken into account the suggestions put forth by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and a clear-cut roster system is likely to be followed in the apex court for the allocation of cases.

(With Agency inputs)