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Supreme Court Rift Remains, Admits Attorney General: 10 Points

By NDTV

NEW DELHI: The rift between the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, and the four Supreme Court judges who took him on publicly, remains unresolved as the trigger for their dispute -- the case involving the demand for an investigation into the death of judge BH Loya -- is taken up today in the top court. "I accept that the judges' conflict is not settled," Attorney General KK Venugopal told NDTV, adding that talks were on to resolve the crisis. The four judges -- Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph -- have been kept out of a constitution bench that will decide on many important cases.

A report in The Hindu newspaper quotes sources close to the four judges as denying any reconciliation and saying that there had been "no attempts so far to resolve the issues raised by the judges".


The judges had called a press conference on Friday and criticised the way sensitive cases were being assigned by the Chief Justice to junior judges.


Their unprecedented move to go public came after the judge Loya case was assigned to Justice Arun Mishra, who is number 10 in the Supreme Court pecking order.


Judge Loya died of a cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014, while on a visit to Nagpur. At the time, he was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was an accused. Mr Shah was later discharged by the judge who replaced judge Loya.


Two petitions have called for an independent investigation into the death, after judge Loya's family was quoted by the news magazine Caravan as questioning the way he died. On the weekend, judge Loya's son Anuj, however, denied that there was anything suspicious in the death and said it was being politicised.


The news agency IANS reported that Justice Mishra "broke down" at the informal meeting of judges yesterday at the Supreme Court lounge, complaining that he had been unfairly targeted and his competence had been questioned. He was comforted by both the Chief Justice and Justice Chelameswar, IANS said. Justice Chelameswar was seen with his arm around Justice Mishra as he was led by the Chief Justice to his chamber.


It was at this meeting, Mr Venugopal had said yesterday, that the judges resolved their differences.

"There was an informal meeting in the morning. Now everything has been settled, courts are functioning," Mr Venugopal had said, before back-pedalling.


The four judges had on Friday said that the "administration of the Supreme Court is not in order" and said without an independent judiciary, "democracy wouldn't survive".


Over the weekend, senior lawyers and retired judges of the Supreme Court have attempted to resolve the dispute.

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