SC orders probe into Pegasus snooping row, appoints expert committee; says Centre’s vague denial not sufficient

By: |
Updated: October 27, 2021 11:11 AM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter and appointed an expert committee whose function will be monitored by the top court itself.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter and appointed an expert committee whose function will be monitored by the top court itself.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter and appointed an expert committee whose function will be monitored by the top court itself. Observing that the violation of Right to Privacy needs to be examined, it said that the committee has been formed to probe the falsity and discover truth in the snooping scandal.

The three-member committee will be headed by RV Raveendran, former Supreme Court Judge. Other members will be Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi. The top court directed the expert committee to examine the allegations thoroughly and place report before court and posts the hearing after eight weeks.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said that initially when petitions were filed seeking independent probe into the matter, the court was not satisfied with the petitions filed based on newspaper reports. However, various other petitions were filed by the ones who were direct victims, it said.

“There has been no specific denial by Centre in the issue, thus we have no option but to accept the submissions of petitioner prima facie and we appoint an expert committee whose function will be overseen by the Supreme Court,” the bench said

It observed that while technology is important, it is also important to safeguard the right to privacy, not only for journalists, but for all the citizens.

“We live in the era of information and we must recognise that while technology is important, it’s important to safeguard right to privacy, not only for journalists but for all citizens,” the court said.

The court had reserved order on September 13, saying it only wanted to know whether or not the Centre used the Pegasus spyware through illegal methods to allegedly snoop on citizens.

The apex court had observed orally that it would set up a technical expert committee to inquire into the matter and pass an interim order on the pleas seeking an independent probe into the grievances of the alleged surveillance of certain eminent Indians by hacking their phones using Israeli firm NSO’s spyware, Pegasus.

The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas, including senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar along with the Editors Guild of India, seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

The pleas seeking independent probe are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO’s spyware Pegasus.

An international media consortium had reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Children in poorer countries with fewer vehicles more likely to die in road accidents: UNESCO report
2Nadia road accident: PM Narendra Modi announces Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia for next of kin of deceased
3‘Hate won’t win’: Rahul Gandhi urges Opposition to stay united on day when BJP sweeps Tripura municipal polls