In June 2020, photos emerged of Sharad Arvind Bobde, former Chief Justice of India (CJI), sitting on a Harley Davidson bike in Nagpur, which broke the internet. People went berserk seeing the former CJI sitting on the luxury bike. However, Bobde clarified on Saturday that he was not riding the bike and was merely posing with it.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2023 in New Delhi, Bobde said: “Somebody got the Harley Davidson and I sat on it. Some other person who had nothing to do with anything took a picture and sent it to her lawyer husband. And that is how it went around. I didn’t ride it.”
“I merely sat on it. Though I would have liked to ride it,” he chuckled. He also said that thanks to his pictures going viral, he became popular among the younger crowd. The high-end bike was said to be registered in the name of Rohit Sonbaji Musale, son of Sonba Musale who is a BJP leader from Nagpur.
Justice Bobde became the 47th Chief Justice of India in 2019. His tenure ended in April 2021. In his tenure, he came to be known for some of the landmark judgments that took place, including the Ayodhya case in 2019. Bobde was part of a bench of five judges who delivered judgment in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
Speaking about the case and the intense political pressure, he said: “The label of politics can be attached to anything. There was nothing political about the Rafale case. It was a defence deal. In the Ayodhya case, it was about whether Lord Ram was born in that place among other things. This problem has been going on since the pre-Independence times.”
“It could be that people want to derive political mileage out of the controversy. We (the CJIs) are not involved in politics.”
He also said that he didn’t feel pressure while delivering these landmark judgments but felt some sense of anxiety of the aftermath.
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