Allegations serious if media reports are correct: Supreme Court on Pegasus row

Supreme Court Collegium and RM Lodha

The statement came in response to senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is representing the petitioners, saying that Pegasus is a rogue technology that enters our lives without our knowledge and is an assault on the privacy, dignity and values of the Indian Republic.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a clutch of petitions, including those filed by the Editors Guild of India, seeking a special probe into the Pegasus spyware scandal involving allegations that opposition leaders, journalists and others were targets of snooping, said “the allegations are serious if the media reports correct”.

A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, is hearing the petitions. Justice Surya Kant is the second judge on the Bench.

“Reports of snooping came in 2019, I do not know whether any efforts were made to get more information. I am not going into facts of each case, some people claim phones intercepted. There is Telegraph Act for complaints,” CJI Ramana observed.

The observation came in response to senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is representing the petitioners, saying that Pegasus is a rogue technology that enters our lives without our knowledge and is an assault on the privacy, dignity and values of the Indian Republic.

The global media investigation involving several leading publications, including The Wire, has disclosed that 300 phones from India were on the list of potential targets on the leaked database of NSO, which supplies Israeli spyware Pegasus. It is not established, however, that all the phones were hacked.

Two petitions were filed in the Supreme Court on the same case, one by CPM MP John Brittas and the other by advocate ML Sharma. Following this, senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar had sought probe by a Special Investigation Team headed by a sitting of former judge into the snooping allegations.

Source: The Indian Express

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