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SC To Form Tech Committee To Probe Pegasus Row

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 23, Sep 2021, 19:26 pm IST | UPDATED: 23, Sep 2021, 19:33 pm IST

SC To Form Tech Committee To Probe Pegasus Row

New Delhi: After reserving the order for two weeks, the Supreme Court has said that it will pass order next week a clutch of petitions that have demanded a court-monitored investigation into the use of Pegasus spyware for the alleged surveillance of citizens after the Union government declined to make public whether its agencies used the Israeli software.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the order, which was to be pronounced earlier, will now be delivered next week.

CJI NV Ramana further said that the Supreme Court is setting up a Technical Expert Committee to inquire into the alleged Pegasus snooping row, reported ANI.

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

Stating there is nothing to hide, the Centre said it’s the reason why it will constitute a panel of domain experts.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, that whether particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion and making this information a part of an affidavit will not be in the national interest.

Mehta had said that the position on the issue has already been clarified in Parliament by Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnav.

The pleas seeking an 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 has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.

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