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3-judge SC bench to hear Pegasus pleas today

An expanded three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, will hear a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the allegations of surveillance through the use of Pegasus spyware on Tuesday.

Written by Apurva Vishwanath | New Delhi |
Updated: August 10, 2021 7:08:12 am
“No doubt, the allegations are serious, if the reports are true,” the bench had observed last week although it did not issue notice to the Centre in the cases.

AN EXPANDED three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, will hear a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the allegations of surveillance through the use of Pegasus spyware on Tuesday.

The bench will also also have justices Vineet Saran and Surya Kant. The same combination also sat in Court Number 1 on Monday.

In the last hearing on August 5, the top court had described the allegations as “serious” and had asked the parties to first supply copies of their petitions to the government counsel after which it would hear the matter again on August 10. The bench then had Chief justice Ramana and Justice Kant.

Court number 1 of the Supreme Court, which is presided by the CJI, usually sits as a three-judge bench while other courts sit in a two-judge combination except for specific cases. However, on several occasions, CJI Ramana sat in a combination of a two-judge bench with either Justices A S Bopanna or Kant.

Justice Vineet Saran, currently the 11-most senior judge in the court, usually heads a bench and sits with Justice Dinesh Maheshwari. According to the roster published on the Supreme Court website, Justice Saran hears cases relating to labour law, land acquisition, service matters, criminal law, family law among others. The SC’s roster for judges is a document ascribing specific kinds of cases to each judge heading a bench.

“No doubt, the allegations are serious, if the reports are true,” the bench had observed last week although it did not issue notice to the Centre in the cases. Senior journalists N Ram, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, and the Editors Guild of India are among the petitioners.

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