Issues raised by judges extremely important: Rahul

13/01/2018

NEW DELHI, Jan 12: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today described the concerns expressed by four Supreme Court judges over the institution's functioning as "extremely important", and also sought investigation into the death of judge B H Loya by the "highest level" of the apex court.
Making a brief statement at a press conference, Gandhi also said, Justice J Chelameswar's remark that democracy will not survive in the country unless the Supreme Court was preserved, was "extremely important" and that it needed to be "looked into carefully".
Special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high- profile Sohrabuddin Seikh encounter case, had allegedly died under mysterious circumstances in 2014. The apex court had yesterday agreed to hear two separate pleas seeking independent probe into the death.
BJP chief Amit Shah, an accused in the case, was discharged.
One of the four senior-most judges, who held an unprecedented press conference, had said that the matter involving Judge Loya's death was one of the issues underpinning their differences with Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
"They have also made a point about Judge Loya's case. I think that is also something which needs to be investigated properly and looked at from the highest levels of the Supreme Court... All citizens who love the idea of justice, who believe in the Supreme Court, are looking at this issue and it's important that its addressed," Gandhi said.
The Congress also issued a statement where it said the issues raised by the four judges were "extremely disturbing" and have "far-reaching consequences for values we hold sacred".
Rahul called for an independent probe into the death of Judge Loya—who was hearing the Sorabuddin encounter case in which BJP President Amit Shah was an accused— by the highest bodies of the Supreme Court. The demand on Friday came after top judges from the Supreme Court expressed their discontentment over the handling of the matter in a press conference, and attacked CJI Dipak Misra on the manner of assignment of cases in the top court.
The Congress expressed that the obligations and the accusations levelled by the senior most judges of the Supreme Court against the CJI were very disturbing and have ‘far-reaching effects’ for the Indian democracy.
In a statement to the media, Congress said, “The observations made by the Honourable Judges and the issues raised by them in the Press Conference and in the letter are extremely disturbing and have far-reaching consequences for the values that we hold sacred, safeguarding democracy and preserving the independence of the Judiciary.”
The Congress party also called for a detailed investigation into the death of Justice Loya by the top court. Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “Full Court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four Honourable Judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the Judiciary pointed out by the four Honourable Judges and that will preserve the independence of the judiciary.” Congress appealed that the matter must be entrusted to senior-most judges of the SC to hear into the death of Justice Loya.
Rahul Gandhi said that all citizens who love the idea of justice are looking at this issue and it needs to be carefully addressed looking at the sensitivity of the matter. Meanwhile, the party also called for restoring the traditions of the apex court in the assignment of cases to the judges.
The issues raised by the four senior Supreme Court judges in the unprecedented press conference today are an "internal" matter of the judiciary, highly placed sources said, indicating that the government is unlikely to interfere.
The government has no say in it and does not wish to interfere, the sources said.
It is an internal matter of the judiciary, the sources in the government said.
However, they also added that the apex court should settle the issue at the earliest as the faith of the people in the judiciary is at stake.
In an unprecedented move, four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court today called a press conference and said the situation in the top court was "not in order" and many "less than desirable" things have taken place.
The second senior judge after the Chief Justice of India, Justice J Chelameswar, said, "... sometimes administration of the Supreme Court is not in order and many things which are less than desirable have happened in the last few months".
The other judges who were present at the press conference were Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
Official sources in the law ministry said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has not met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard so far.

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