CJI to head Loya bench

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A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear on Monday two PILs seeking an independent probe into the death of Sohrabuddin "fake" encounter trial judge B H Loya allegedly under suspicious circumstances.

Last Tuesday, in wake of the blistering attack by Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph against the Chief Justice, the two-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar had adjourned the hearing in the Loya case without listing a date for the next hearing.

While the four judges did not specify the cases, on being pointedly and repeatedly asked they confirmed that they had brought up the allocation of Judge Loya case with the chief justice.

It is pertinent to mention here that Justice Yawar Ali was one of the members of the Special Court hearing the high treason case against former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

The Supreme Court's cause list shows that Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud will hear the petition filed by Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla and a journalist from Maharashtra, BS Lone.

The subject fuelled more controversy on January 12 this year when the CJI was accused by the four other senior-most judges of assigning key cases to relatively junior judges, the insinuation being he was trying to influence outcomes.

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Though the marking is computer-generated, the CJI has a say when the registry informs him about a sensitive matter in advance.

Justice Arun Mishra, supposedly distressed by the whole episode of allegations by the four senior judges and for "unfairly" being targeted, had pulled out of the Loya death case hearing.

The proposal is being discussed not just by them and the CJI but also, in terms of seniority, judges who stand a chance to be a future CJI, the people familiar with the matter added.

Bhushan alleged that Justice Misra "conducted a serious act of forgery by ante-dating an administrative order dated November 6, 2017".

At the customary common lunch meet in the afternoon on Wednes-day, the CJI and 22 other judges, including three of the four judges, were present.

He said that a system for allocation of cases identical to that in the Delhi High Court is followed in the Bombay High Court.

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