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Pegasus snoopgate: Supreme Court orders probe by independent expert panel

Pegasus snoopgate: Supreme Court orders probe by independent expert panel

Pegasus spyware row: The apex court also instructed the expert committee to look into the allegations exhaustively and place the report before it expeditiously. It also posted the hearing in the matter after eight weeks.

pegasus spyware case: The SC bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli observed that the violation of the Right to Privacy needs to be scrutinised pegasus spyware case: The SC bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli observed that the violation of the Right to Privacy needs to be scrutinised

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the Pegasus surveillance scandal by an independent three-member expert committee under the supervision of the top court.

Former SC judge Justice RV Raveendran will head the expert panel and will be assisted by Dr. Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in (International Organisation of Standardisation/ International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee) and Alok Joshi (former IPS Officer).

The three members of the Technical Committee include Dr. Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gujarat, Dr. Prabaharan P of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kerala & Dr. Ashwin Anil Gumaste of IIT Bombay.

Also Read: SC grants Centre time to file response to pleas seeking probe into Pegasus matter

The SC bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli observed that the violation of the Right to Privacy needs to be scrutinised, adding that the panel has been formed to investigate the falsity and unearth the truth in the Pegasus snooping scandal.

The apex court also instructed the expert committee to look into the allegations exhaustively and place the report before it expeditiously. It also posted the hearing in the matter after eight weeks.

The SC bench further stated that initially when pleas were filed seeking an independent investigation into the matter, the top court was not satisfied with them being filed on basis of newspaper reports. However, several other petitions were filed by the ones who were direct victims, it noted.

The pleas pertain to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus.

"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 SC bench said.

Also Read: Pegasus spyware: Check out hardware requirement, cost to install

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

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

The SC had reserved its order on September 13, stating it only wanted to know if or not the central government used Israeli-based Pegasus spyware through illegal means to allegedly spy on citizens.

Published on: Oct 27, 2021, 11:20 AM IST
Posted by: Manali, Oct 27, 2021, 11:18 AM IST