SC Judges’ Revolt: Rahul Demands Probe Into Judge Loya’s Death

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference at AICC headquarters in New Delhi. — Media photo


NEW DELHI — Congress, on Friday, expressed its concerns on the functioning of the Supreme Court, after four senior judges held a press conference earlier in the day.

“We are very concerned to hear 4 judges of the Supreme Court expressed concerns about the functioning of the Supreme Court. #DemocracyInDanger,” the Congress’ official Twitter handle said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, while addressing media, said, the points that have been raised by the four judges at the unprecedented press meet are extremely important and they must be looked into carefully. They have mentioned that there is a threat to democracy. They have also raised the Judge Loya issue.

“The Supreme Court should investigate this at the highest level. This kind of things has never happened before,” he said.

Observation made by the Honourable Judges in their press conference is extremely disturbing, said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala adding that Congress party is deeply perturbed by these developments.

He said specifically the Honourable Judges have highlighted issued two issues:

1) the long silence of the government of India of the Memorandum of Procedures finalised by the Supreme Court

2) Assignment of cases selectively to the benches of their preference without any rational basis.

Issue of Judge Loya’s Death a Serious Matter, Says Supreme Court

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court of India termed as a “serious matter” the issue of alleged mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, and sought response from Maharashtra government on pleas seeking an independent probe into it.

The top court said, “This matter requires bi-party hearing rather than exparte”.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar asked Maharasthra Government counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar to file reply by January 15.

At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Bombay lawyers association, said the high court is seized of the matter and the top court should not hear the pleas.

“The Bombay High Court is seized of the matter and in my opinion the Supreme Court should not hear this matter. If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the high court,” Mr Dave said.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for one of the petitioners Maharashtra-based journalist BR Lone, said that she has also instructions from Bombay lawyers association that this matter should not be heard by the top court.
The bench, however, said it will look into the petitions but will also consider the objections raised.

Advocate Varinder Kumar Sharma, appearing for another petitioner Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala, said this is a case where a mysterious death of a judge has taken place on December 1, 2014 and it needs to be investigated.

The bench then asked Katneshwarkar to file the post mortem report and other relevant documents regarding the death of judge Loya besides taking instruction from the government.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 15.

Judge Loya had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.


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