After top judges' dissent, bench headed by CJI to hear Loya case
After top judges' dissent, bench headed by CJI to hear Loya case

A three-judge Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra will on Monday begin hearing the pleas seeking an investigation into the allegedly suspicious death of CBI Judge BH Loya.

The case is listed for Monday following the recusal last week by another SC bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.

That recusal came after four of the most senior SC judges alleged that the Chief Justice was arbitrarily assigning important cases to select benches headed by junior SC judges. The Judge Loya case was one of many contentious issues brought up in the January 13 press conference by the four Justices. They alleged the CJI was assigning cases to benches of his personal preference.
The supplementary cause list issued on Saturday listed the petitions by social activist Tehseen Poonawala and Maharashtra-based journalist Bandhuraj Sambhaji Lone before the bench of Chief Justice of India, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.
Earlier, the two petitions were being heard by the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. However, the bench recused itself from hearing the matter on 17 January after the bench directed that all the documents furnished by Maharashtra government to the court pertaining to the death of judge Loya be shared with the petitioners seeking independent probe.

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 court had earlier termed as a "serious matter" the issue of Loya's death and had asked the Maharashtra government to file certain documents, including the autopsy report.

The counsel for the petitioners had told the court that this was a case of an alleged mysterious death of a judge, who was hearing a sensitive case, and an independent probe was required.

In his plea, he had claimed that the circumstances revolving around the death of the judge were "questionable, mysterious and contradicting".

The other plea filed by the journalist has submitted that a fair probe was needed into the mysterious death of Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin encounter case in which various police officers and BJP president Amit Shah were named as parties.
The case came into limelight as BJP president Amit Shah was allegedly one of the accused in the case. Shah was later discharged by the Special CBI court trying the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case.

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