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The dissenting judges, who demand a stronger institution, have said "something is happening and they are ready for a debate", sources said. They also asserted that Chief Justice Mishra has to come out with a plan solve this issue.
Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph, who are the country's senior most after the Chief Justice, have been kept out of a constitution bench that will decide on eight important cases. One of them, a legal challenge to the Aadhaar system, will be taken up today.
The case involving Judge BH Loya's death, which was one of the main triggers for the unprecedented crisis, could be reassigned. The two judges who heard the case yesterday said in an order that the case be "put up before the appropriate Bench". That leaves the Chief Justice to decide whether to assign the case to a different set of judges.
The four "rebel" judges last week took the unusual step of addressing a press conference and voicing their concerns, warning that "without an independent judiciary, democracy will not survive". Cases of "far reaching consequences", they said, were being assigned inappropriately.
The judges went public after the Loya case was assigned on Friday to Justice Arun Mishra, who is number 10 in the top court's pecking order; they implied that the Chief Justice was abusing his position as "master of the roster".
Justice Arun Mishra reportedly broke down at a meeting with other judges on Monday, and said he was "unfairly" targeted and questions were being raised about his "competence".
Judge Loya, 48, died in Nagpur in December 2014 while he was hearing a case in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused. Amit Shah was discharged from the case by a new judge who ruled that there was no evidence to merit his trial. Two months ago, Judge Loya's relatives said his death was unnatural. His sister Anuradha Biyani claimed that he was offered a huge bribe to rule in favour of Amit Shah.
As the demand grew for an investigation into his alleged heart attack while attending a wedding, a Maharashtra journalist and activist-petitioner Tehseen Poonawalla asked for the Supreme Court to order an independent inquiry.
Judge Loya's son, Anuj Loya, said on Sunday that he did not have any suspicions about the death. The Nagpur Police, on Tuesday, told the Supreme Court that the judge died of a heart attack and "no probe was necessary".
The Maharashtra government had also placed documents relating to the death before the court in a sealed cover and did not want the papers to be seen by anyone. Justices Arun Mishra and MM Shantanagoudar, however, ruled that the petitioners should be able to see these papers.