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Updated on: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 11:15 AM IST

FPJ Legal: No clear denial by Centre on use of Pegasus Spyware, says Supreme Court; forms three-member probe panel

Supreme Court of India | ANI

Supreme Court of India | ANI

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Noting there is no clear stand of the Centre on the Pegasus spyware case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday formed a three-member committee to probe the matter.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana passed the order on a batch of pleas seeking an independent court-monitored probe into the alleged Pegasus spyware case.

Supreme Court said it has chosen renowned experts to be a part of the three-member Committee. The committee will be headed by RV Raveendran, former Supreme Court Judge and also comprise Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi.

Court noted that there is a serious concern of foreign agency involvement by surveilling Indians, and said, "Right to Privacy violation needs to be examined." Quoting George Orwell, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself." The court noted that some of the petitioners are direct victims of pegasus. "It is incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology," it said.

The bench further said that it has discussed the need for protecting the right to privacy in India. "We live in the era of information and we must recognise while technology is important it is important to safeguard the right to privacy, not only to journalists but privacy is important for all citizens," it added.

"Initially when petitions were filed, the court was not satisfied with petitions filed based on newspaper reports, however, various other petitions were filed by the ones who were direct victims," noted the court.

Earlier, the Bench had said that it intends to set up an expert committee to probe into the reports alleging the government of using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists, and journalists.

The apex court on September 13 had said it will pass an interim order in two-three days on pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row.

However, on September 23 the Bench had said that it was taking time to pass the order as some experts, which it had in mind to be members of the committee, expressed personal difficulties to be part of the same.

Several petitions are pending before the top court seeking a court-monitored probe into the reports of the government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists and journalists.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published on: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 11:09 AM IST
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