Issue of Judge BH Loya's death serious: SC

WATCH: Four Supreme Court judges complain top court not in order

Democracy will not survive without free judiciary: top SC judges to media

Exposing a rift with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, some of the Supreme Court's most senior judges told a news conference the issues involving its administration were serious enough to prompt them to go public.

Chelameswar, speaking beside his colleagues, Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said they did not want to be accused of not having spoken up for the institution, or of "selling their souls".

Soon after the press conference by the four senior-most judges, the CJI called Attorney General K K Venugopal for a meeting, court sources said.

The Justice Chelameshwar began press conference by terming it as the extraordinary event in the history of the judiciary in India. "Our efforts have failed in convincing the CJI (Chief Justice of India) to take steps to protect the institution".

The pleas seeking a probe have followed two reports the Caravan magazine published that quoted immediate members of Loya's family, who questioned the circumstances surrounding his death. According to an Op-Ed in The Economic Times, "Chelameswar, once a government pleader, was appointed additional judge in the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 1997".

The press conference is slated to be held at 12.15 pm.

"We met the CJI today with a specific request which unfortunately couldn't convince him that we were right... therefore, we were left with no choice but to communicate it to the nation to please take care of the institution", Chelameswar said.

However, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, on being asked if the letter was about CBI Judge BH Loya's alleged mysterious death case, said: "yes".

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It also cleared and recommended the name of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K.M. Joseph as the top court judge, who has been part of the bench that, in 2016, had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the state.

"The hallmark of a good democracy is an independent and impartial judge".

He said many undesirable things had happened in the court in recent months, but gave no details.

The judges had written a letter in this regard to the Chief Justice of India, a few months ago. We wanted a particular thing to be done in a particular manner.

The judges said that they are forced to "address the nation" as the Chief Justice Dipak Misra was not ready to listen their reservation. Much before that, Justice Santosh Hegde was appointed as top court judge directly from the Bar.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for journalist Lone, also said that matter should not be heard by the apex court.

The apex court has posted the next hearing on the issue for Monday, 15 January.

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