By Sahil Razvii | Newshaly.Com
The petitions seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus espionage case were heard together in the Supreme Court today. The Editors Guild of India and senior journalists N. The petitions filed by Ram and Shashi Kumar are also included. The court said that if the media reports are true, then these allegations are very serious.
Hearing the matter, CJI Ramana said that it is surprising that Pegasus issue came to the fore in 2019 and no one made any serious attempt to collect verifiable material about espionage. He said that most of the PILs are based on newspaper cuttings of national and international media.
“We cannot say that there is absolutely no material in this matter. We don’t want to call everyone newspaper reports and stuff of reputed journalists. Some of those who filed the petition claimed that their phones had been hacked. You are well versed in the provisions of IT and Telegraphic Act. It seems that they did not make any effort to file a complaint. These things are bothering us.”
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner N Ram and others, termed Pegasus as a cunning technique which enters our lives without our knowledge. “This is an attack on the privacy, dignity and values of our republic,” Sibal said.
Chief Justice NV Ramana said there is no doubt that the allegations of espionage, if true, are serious. The Editors Guild of India in its petition has sought setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged surveillance of journalists and others.
The Guild, in its application, in which senior journalist Mrinal Pandey is also the petitioner, has said that it is the job of its members and all journalists to hold all organs of the government accountable by seeking information and explanations and by continuously analyzing the successes and failures of the state. .
According to the list uploaded on the Supreme Court website, Chief Justice N. A bench of V. Ramana and Justice Surya Kant will hear nine separate petitions related to reports of alleged spying of eminent personalities, politicians and journalists by government agencies with the help of spyware Pegasus of Israeli firm NSO.
An international media association has claimed in a report that 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were included in the list of potential targets for spying through Pegasus spyware. The court will also hear the petition filed by senior journalist Pranjay Guha Thakurta. His name is included in the list of alleged people who could have been spied with the help of Pegasus.
Let us inform that in the past, two well-known journalists had approached the Supreme Court regarding the Pegasus espionage case. Former Chief Editor of The Hindu newspaper N Ram and Asianet founder Shashi Kumar have filed a petition in the Supreme Court requesting that the top news reports about alleged spying of eminent citizens, politicians and journalists by government agencies using the Israeli spyware Pegasus. An independent inquiry should be conducted by a sitting or retired judge of the court.
The journalist has requested in his application that the apex court should direct the central government to make public all the material related to the investigation. Thakurta has said in his application that the existence of Pegasus will have a very adverse effect on freedom of expression in India, he has urged the court to declare the use of spyware or malware as illegal and unconstitutional.
According to the petition filed by Ram and Kumar, it represents an attempt by alleged detective agencies and organizations in India to suppress freedom of expression and expression of dissent.
The plea has also sought a direction to the Center to state whether the government or any of its agencies has obtained a license for Pegasus spyware and used it for surveillance, directly or indirectly, in any manner.
what is the matter
Significantly, the International Association of Media Organizations has revealed that a large number of businessmen, including two Union ministers of India, more than 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and a judge, through Israel’s spy software sold only to government agencies. And more than 300 mobile numbers of rights activists have been hacked. However, the government has denied the allegations related to surveillance of certain people at its level. The government said that there is no solid basis for this or there is no truth related to it.