Supreme Court appoints expert committee to probe Pegasus snooping scandal
Home POLITICS Supreme Court appoints expert committee to probe Pegasus snooping scandal
POLITICS - October 27, 2021

Supreme Court appoints expert committee to probe Pegasus snooping scandal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed an expert committee to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software. “Citizens need to be protected from violation of privacy,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said.

The committee will be supervised by retired SC judge Justice R.V. Ravindran. The committe will submit its report to the court, which will hear the matter again after eight weeks.

“Ample time was given to Centre to disclose all information regarding the Pegasus. However, only limited affidavit was filed. If Centre had made a clear burden on us would have been less. Centre should justify its stand here and not render court a mute spectator,” Live Law quoted the bench as saying.

The apex court was responding to a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Pegasus spyware controversy. The pleas alleged the use of Pegasus spyware, a flagship product of Israel’s NSO Group, to snoop on phones of around 300 people in India, including journalists, activists and opposition leaders. Veteran journalists N. Ram and Shashi Kumar and the Editors Guild of India were among the parties who sought an independent probe into the Pegasus scandal. The government, the petitioners had said, should disclose the details of how it obtained licence for the spyware, used it directly or indirectly, and the list of people who were targeted.

Citing national security, the Centre had refused to file a detailed affidavit in the matter. The Centre had offered to constitute its own committee of experts to probe allegations. 

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