CJI Bobde, top judges, being monitored by Chinese firm: Report
A Chinese firm is reportedly keeping a close watch on 30 Indian judges, including the Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde. The Shenzhen-based firm Zhenhua Data—which has links to the Chinese government—has been monitoring several members of the judiciary along with over 10,000 prominent Indians, an investigation by The Indian Express of the firm's Overseas Key Information DataBase (OKIDB) showed.
Reportedly, the list of members of the judiciary being monitored by the firm includes CJI Bobde, Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court, Justice Sandeep Mehta of the Rajasthan High Court, and Justice Sunita Agarwal of the Allahabad High Court. Former Chairman of Intellectual Property Appellate Board Justice K Basha (IPAB) and Justice S Usha, former Vice-Chairman, IPAB are also on the list.
The list also includes retired judges who continue to hold key positions, the report stated. They include Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Chairperson of the anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal; Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, Chairperson, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT); Justice Vikramajit Sen, Chairperson, Governing Board, Bombay Stock Exchange; and Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chairperson, Press Council of India.
The list of those being monitored also includes former SC judges Justices PK Balasubramanyan and Arijit Pasayat, who have been Chairpersons of Authority for Advance Ruling. The AAR gives binding rulings in advance tax matters pertaining to a foreign investment venture in India. The list also includes Chief Justices AP Shah (Delhi) and Mohit Shah (Bombay), who were indirectly linked to the AAR matter.
Reportedly, those being monitored also include two judges heading separate panels probing Left-wing related incidents. They include Justice Satish Agnihotri, former CJ of Sikkim HC. He heads a judicial commission set up by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel in August 2019 to investigate the Naxal attack in Dantewada in April 2019. BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed in the attack.
Former Acting CJ of Allahabad HC, Justice Amitava Lala, is also being monitored. He heads a one-man commission appointed by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in March 2012 to probe the 1982 massacre of 16 monks and one sanyasin of the Ananda Marg.
The list also includes former SC judges Cyriac Joseph, Shivraj Virupanna Patil, and Sujata Manohar—all have served at the NHRC; Bilal Nazki, former CJ of Orissa HC and former Chairperson of J&K Human Rights Commission; Sujit Roy, former CJ of Orissa HC and former Chairperson of Assam Human Rights Commission; and Prakash Tatia, former CJ Jharkhand and former Chairperson of Armed Forces Tribunal.
Further, the list of those being monitored also includes Former CJI Justice RM Lodha, who headed an SC-constituted committee to suggest reforms within the BCCI; former SC judge Justice Ganpat Singh Singhvi, who chaired the now-defunct Competition Appellate Tribunal; and former SC judge Justice Abhay Mohan Sapre, who constituted the bench that appointed SC judge DK Jain as the new BCCI Ombudsman.