Supreme Court issues notice to Maharashtra government on Judge Loya's death

Both petitions were mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, hours after the four senior judges' took on the Chief Justice of India (CJI) for being unresponsive to their requests, Gandhi said, "They have also made a point about Judge Loya's case".

The pointed reference to the Loya case is meant to put BJP on the back foot as its party president Amit Shah was an accused in the Sohrabuddin case before being discharged.

Mr. Naik said the death case should also be revisited and a transparent administrative mechanism be put in place in the apex court.

A Mumbai-based journalist, BR Lone, and social activist Tehseen Poonawalla have filed the petition for impartial probe into the death.

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

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Earlier on Friday, Judges Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph, Madan B. Lokur and Justice Chelameswar, in an unprecedented move, left judiciary and observers stunned after they alleged that the Supreme Court administration was "not in order". The bench then asked Katneshwarkar to file the mortem report and other relevant documents regarding the death of Judge Loya, besides taking instruction from the government.

A PIL seeking a probe into Loya's death was also filed before the Bombay high court on January 8 by the Bombay Lawyers' Association.

The issue came to spotlight in November 2017 after media reports, quoting his sister, fuelled suspicion about his death.

On January 8 a year ago, the Bombay Lawyers Association had filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court seeking a probe into Loya's death.

The bench asked Dave to specify why the Supreme Court should not hear the petition. "If the court goes ahead with the hearing, it may have implications before the High Court", Dave said.

The immediate impetus of this press conference is believed to be the assignment of the investigation into Judge Loya's death to Justice Arun Kumar Misra, a relatively junior judge of the Supreme Court.

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