A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a court monitored probe into Pegasus snooping. The PIL has been filed by lawyer ML Sharma. The PIL made the Prime Minister’s Office and CBI parties to the case.
The petitioner challenged the parties over snooping on Indian citizens through the Pegasus software for their vested political interest and sought further investigation through SIT formed by the apex court.
The plea stated that a court monitored SIT probe is sought as the government, during a 2019 Lok Sabha session did not respond to questions asked by Congress MPs Digvijaya Singh and Jairam Ramesh, who wanted to know if the government had bought the software. The plea stated that another cause of concern arose when the respondent in the Rajya Sabha did not answer the same question raised by the Opposition about the purchase of the Pegasus spy software from Israeli company NSO to spy on Opposition leaders, human rights activists and political rivals prior the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and thereafter.
Sharma’s PIL asks whether the Constitution allows the Prime Minister and his ministers to spy on Indian citizens for vested political interests. It also raises questions on the legality of the purchase of the software. The plea asks whether snooping on common citizens is not violative of rights and offensive.
The plea sought direction to frame SIT under the supervision of the court and to prosecute all accused persons and ministers for buying of Pegasus and snooping on Indian citizens including judges, Opposition leaders, political persons, activists, advocates, and others for their vested interest since 2017 till date.
It also asked the Supreme Court to declare the purchase of Pegasus software for snooping as illegal and unconstitutional. It sought to make the respondents “liable to return amount with interest issued from the public treasury without the permission of the parliament”.
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