The website of India’s Supreme Court was hacked soon after India's Supreme court gave out a controversial verdict on Thursday.
According to multiple news reports, the website crashed minutes after the country’s apex court gave a verdict ruling out any independent probe into the death of Judge BH Loya, who died while hearing a controversial fake encounter case, allegedly masterminded by the president Amit Shah of the country’s ruling hindu fascist Bharitya Janata Party (BJP).
The consequence of the website hacking reportedly perpetrated by a Brazilian group was pretty obvious as the judgement couldn’t be uploaded till late afternoon. A screenshot of the website showed a picture of a cannabis leaf, suggesting possibly a hack job, as frustrated newsmen tried in vain to access a copy of the judgement. No further details were available from the court officials and Indian police sources.
The website had two messages in Portuguese which when translated means “hacked by HighTech Brazil HackTeam” and "I love you, my beautiful little girl, best friend I ever had and smile my little girl." Quite many visitors took to social media indicating the website was hacked. Even a few hours later, the website still said "Site Under Maintenance".
For those unaware, way back in 2014, aged 48, Brijgopal Harkishan Loya a.k.a. B H Loya allegedly died of cardiac arrest while he was presiding over the CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which India's former home minister Shah, a strong ally of Indian PM Narendra Modi, had been accused of ordering three extrajudicial killings in 2005 and 2006. Subsequently, Justice MB Gosavi, who replaced Loya in the CBI court, discharged the alleged prime accused Amit Shah less than a month after the judge’s alleged “premeditated murder”.
Several former judges have questioned the credibility of the Indian judiciary including four senior judges of India’s highest court, who have accused the chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, allocating work to judges “selectively to the benches “of their preference”, bypassing senior judges in the process. Eyebrows were immediately raised in the social media about how the judgement was available with the government even before it had been made public by the court registry. “This itself smells of conspiracy,” said a concerned citizen who spoke on conditions of anonymity for fear of reprisal by the Indian government.
However, analysts say the hacking is a way to express their disappointment and frustration that justice is being denied by the Indian judiciary. An eminent Indian lawyer Prashant Bhushan, termed it as "a sad day for the Indian judiciary". Meanwhile, Hartosh Singh Bal, the journalist who broke the story “Suspicious Death of Judge: Implications for Democracy” tweeted, "the pursuit of the law may end at the doors of the Supreme Court, the journalistic quest for the truth doesn't".
Update (15:30 IST): The Indian Express reports that India's CJI Dipak Misra ‘misused his position’, no other way to ‘protect Constitution’ except through impeachment, says Opposition.