judicial system

Congress calls for full court to discuss SC judges’ concerns, Rahul demands probe into Loya’s death

The party said it was ‘deeply perturbed’ by the allegations made by the top court’s judges.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the claims made by four Supreme Court judges about maladministration within the apex court should be looked into. The Congress party urged for a full court to investigate the allegations.

Gandhi’s statement follows the press conference held by Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, the four-most senior judges in the country after Chief Justice Dipak Misra, to openly protest the bypassing of established traditions in the court by the Chief Justice in assigning cases to benches.

Gandhi said the press conference was unprecedented. “I thought it was sensitive and important matter so I thought I should [speak],” Gandhi told reporters. “The points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important. They have mentioned that there is a threat to democracy, I think it needs to be looked into carefully.”

He said the claims made by justices on Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2014, should be investigated. “It needs to be looked at from the highest levels of the Supreme Court,” he added.

Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Friday urged the Supreme Court to take up the matters raised by the four judges. The Congress party was “deeply perturbed” by these developments, Surjewala said. “The honourable judges have specifically highlighted two issues – the long silence of the government of India to the memorandum of procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court, and the assignment of cases in the Supreme Court to what is described as selectively to the benches of their preference without any rational basis for such assignment.”

The party urged the court to follow the “established conventions and traditions of court” and stop selective assignment.

Justice Loya’s death

The judges confirmed they had also taken up with the Chief Justice today the case of CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. Loya was presiding over the case relating to the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, in which Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was an accused. Loya died in December 2014. In November, the Caravan magazine brought out startling revelations that raised doubts on whether Loya’s death was natural. Since then, there have been demands for an independent probe into the death.

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