Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear the much controversial Judge Loya Case today
New Delhi: A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will today hear a case that seeks an independent investigation into the death of Judge BH Loya. This was one of the sensitive cases that triggered a virtual rebellion by four of the most senior judges of the Supreme Court and was reassigned after a suggestion by the two judges hearing it. Judge Loya died of a heart attack in December 2014 while hearing a case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was accused. Mr Shah was later discharged by a judge who took over the case. Petitions were filed in the top court after his family questioned the death.
Here are the top 10 points about the dissent in the Judge Loya Case:
The two other judges in Chief Justice Dipak Misra's bench are Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AM Khanwilkar. On Saturday, the bench had taken over the case and fixed the date of hearing.
At an extraordinary press conference held on the lawns of Justice Jasti Chelameswar on January 12, the four senior-most judges had said that cases of "far reaching consequences" were being assigned to junior judges.
The judges went public after the Loya case was assigned to two judges including Justice Arun Mishra - number 10 in the Supreme Court's pecking order - and Justice M Shantanagoudar. The dissenting judges had confirmed that their complaints include the case concerning the death of Judge Loya.
Later, at a closed-door meeting of judges to resolve the issue, Justice Arun Mishra broke down, saying he was being "unfairly" targeted. Justice Chelameswar, however, reassured him.
On Friday, the two-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had said that the case be "put up before the appropriate bench" and left the decision to the Chief Justice.
Judge Loya, 48, died in Nagpur in December 2014, while hearing a case that accused BJP chief Amit Shah of ordering the fake encounter of a petty criminal, Sohrabuddin, in 2005. Several weeks later, the judge who replaced Judge Loya, ruled that there was no evidence against Mr Shah to merit a trial.
Two months ago, Judge Loya's relatives alleged that his death was unnatural. Speaking to the Caravan magazine, his sister Anuradha Biyani cited bloodstains on his clothes. Another relative alleged that Judge Loya was offered a huge bribe. But the police and a judge who was with Judge Loya during his last hours, rubbished the family's claims.
Later, activist Tehseen Poonawala and a journalist from Maharashtra, BS Lone, filed petitions in the Supreme Court, seeking an independent inquiry into the judge's death.
Judge Loya's son Anuj Loya has said the family has no suspicions now regarding his father's death and the matter was being politicised. "There was some suspicion before due to emotional turmoil, but now it is clear," Anuj Loya had told reporters.
The Maharashtra government has already submitted documents related to the death of Judge Loya - including post-mortem details and a 50-page intelligence report - to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. The state government said it was going through the report to see what is safe to put out in public domain.