Big relief for Centre; SC says no conclusive evidence to show presence of Pegasus spyware in 29 phones scanned

The Pegasus panel in its report said that the Government of India didn't cooperate in the probe.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, August 25, 2022, 11:41 AM IST
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SC says no conclusive evidence to show presence of Pegasus spyware in 29 phones scanned |

Mumbai: The Pegasus panel in a report submitted in the Supreme Court said there was no conclusive evidence to show the presence of Pegasus spyware infected 29 phones scanned by it.

Chief Justice N.V. Ramana read the report of the committee in the open court on Thursday.

He said the committee recommended the amendment to laws on surveillance.

The Pegasus panel in its report said that the Government of India didn't cooperate in the probe.

The CJI said the committee in its report mentioned that 29 phones were submitted to the Pegasus panel, however Pegasus spyware was not found. The report added that in five phones some other malware was detected, 'but it cannot be concluded that it was Pegasus'.

Panel set-up last year

In October last year, the Supreme Court directed a panel of experts to investigate whether the government used military-grade private Israeli Pegasus spyware to surveil opposition leaders, activists, tycoons, judges and journalists.

The apex court had also observed that the state cannot get a “free pass” every time the spectre of national security is raised and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a “mute spectator” and be the bugbear it shies away from.

Panel asked citizens to get in touch

The technical committee appointed by the Supreme Court had issued a public notice in January asking citizens to come forward and contact the panel if they suspected that their mobile devices were infected by Pegasus malware.

The public notice asked such citizens to also specify the reasons as to why they believed that their device may have been infected with Pegasus malware, and whether they would be in a position to allow the technical committee to examine the said device.

Experts were asked to investigate

The Supreme Court directed a panel of experts to investigate whether the government used military-grade private Israeli Pegasus spyware to spy on opposition leaders, activists, tycoons, judges, and journalists in October of last year.

The Supreme Court also stated that the state cannot be given a "free pass" every time the spectre of national security is raised, and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a "mute spectator" and be the bugbear it avoids.

SC appoints technical committee

In January, the Supreme Court-appointed technical committee issued a public notice urging citizens to come forward and contact the panel if they suspected their mobile devices were infected with Pegasus malware.

The public notice also requested that such citizens explain why they believed their device was infected with Pegasus malware and whether

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