The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgment on pleas asking for a court-monitored investigation into the Pegasus snooping row today. The judgment will be passed by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana at 10:30 am. The Supreme Court bench had earlier stated that it was in the process of forming an independent committee of experts to probe the matter.
Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, the Editors' Guild of India, Supreme Court advocate ML Sharma, CPM MP John Brittas and individual journalists had filed petitions asking the court to order the government to produce details of the surveillance done through the Pegasus software, built by Israel-based NSO Group.
The Supreme Court had said on September 13 that it will pass an interim order in a couple of days on pleas by the above petitioners seeking an independent probe. On September 23, the bench said that it would take further time to pass the order as some of the experts it had approached expressed personal difficulties.
Several petitions are pending before the apex court. The petitioners said that the government should disclose the details of how it obtained a licence for the spyware, and the list of people who were targeted.
The Centre, on the other hand, stated that the software was used for issues of national security and was not open for public debate. It stated that it was willing to set up a committee of independent experts to probe into the snooping row.
The alleged list of 142 people included Congress's Rahul Gandhi, election strategist Prashant Kishor, serving Union Ministers, ex-Election Commissioner, two registrars of the Supreme Court and more. Media reports also stated that forensic analysis of some of the mobile phones confirmed a security breach.
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