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Supreme Court Highlights: SC issues notice to Gujarat govt in Bilkis Bano case; Pegasus malware in phones ‘inconclusive’, says CJI

Supreme Court hearings, August 25 Live Updates: The CJI-led bench has issued notice to the government in a review petition on its Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) ruling.

A Constitution Bench will also be hearing a plea seeking to restrain the ECI from proceeding with applications by the Eknath Shinde camp seeking to be recognised as the real Shiv Sena. (Express File Photo)

Supreme Court News Updates: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a petition challenging the remission of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, who is set to retire on Friday, issued a notice to the Gujarat government to file its response in the matter and asked the petitioners to make the 11 convicts party to the case. The matter will be taken up for hearing again after two weeks.

Separately, hearing the review petition filed by Congress MP Karti Chidambaram over its Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) ruling, the Supreme Court agreed to review its verdict on two points: the sharing of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and the reversal of the presumption of innocence. It has issued a notice to the government to file its response on the matter.

Perusing the report of the technical committee appointed by the court, another CJI-led bench stated that it was “inconclusive” if Pegasus malware was found on inspected devices. Meanwhile, taking up the case of PM Modi’s security breach during his visit to Punjab, the CJI remarked that the Ferozepur SSP failed to discharge his duty to maintain law and order despite sufficient force and having the information two hours prior to PM Modi’s arrival.

Live Blog

Supreme Court Live Updates: SC agrees to hear petition challenging remission of 11 convicts in Bikis Bano case; CJI says Pegasus malware on phones 'inconclusive'; SC issues notice to Govt over review of PMLA verdict; Follow latest updates here

21:23 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Pegasus: SC panels suggest amending laws to protect privacy rights, nation's cyber security

The Supreme Court-appointed committees, entrusted with the probe of unauthorised use of Pegasus, have given a slew of recommendations including amending laws to protect citizens' right to privacy and ensure the nation's cyber security.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which had ordered a probe into the allegations of use of Israeli spyware by government agencies for targeted surveillance of politicians, journalists, and activists, Thursday took note of the lengthy report of the two panels, one technical and one overseeing committee.

The top court, on October 27, last year, had asked the panels to also consider suggestions on enactment or amendment to existing law and procedures surrounding surveillance and for securing the improved right to privacy, enhancing and improving the cyber security of the nation and its assets. The bench, while perusing the report of the panels in the open court, referred to the findings of the technical one and said it has found some malware in five mobile phones out of the 29 examined but it could not be concluded that it was due to the Israeli spyware. (PTI)

19:28 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Channi-led Cong govt played with PM Modi's security in Punjab: BJP

The previous Congress government in Punjab played with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security, the BJP said on Thursday after a Supreme Court-appointed committee gave its report on the security breach during his visit to Punjab in January. Alleging a "conspiracy", party leader and Union minister Anurag Thakur said then chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the director general of police "were missing" during Modi's visit.

On January 5, Modi's convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from Punjab without attending any event. The top court on January 12 had appointed the committee to probe the breach, saying these questions cannot be left to "one­-sided inquiries" as they needed "judicially trained independent minds" to investigate. (PTI)

17:04 (IST)25 Aug 2022
By not giving answers govt has made it clear it used Pegasus to weaken democracy: Cong

With a Supreme Court-appointed panel stating the Centre did not cooperate in the Pegasus probe, the Congress on Thursday alleged the government by its action has made it clear that it used the Israeli spyware to weaken democracy.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh. (File photo)

"Everybody knows this weapon was used and it dented democracy. This weapon is against the law and Constitution. How can they (government) give the answer. Sometimes not giving an answer is also an answer, the government has made it clear (by not giving answers) that they used Pegasus against democracy," Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said.

By staying silent the government has made it clear that it used the Pegasus spyware against Rahul Gandhi, other opposition leaders, scientists, election commissioner, registrar of the Supreme Court, civil society activists, senior journalists, he said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters in Delhi. (PTI)

16:00 (IST)25 Aug 2022
TMC MP Mahua Moitra informs about SC notice to Gujarat govt on Twitter

TMC MP Mahua Mitra, who was also a petitioner in the Supreme Court against the release of the convicts in Bilkis Bano case, on Thursday tweeted informing about the apex court's notice to the Gujarat governement. 

"Supreme Court issues notice to Gujarat government on plea against remission to 11 life convicts in Bilkis Bano case," Moitra said. 

Moitra in her petition alleged that the remission "completely fails to bolster either social or human justice and does not constitute a valid exercise of the guided discretionary power of the State". Earlier in the day she also said, "Gujarat 11 convicted of “rarest of rare” crimes technically qualifying for death penalty. Life should mean life. Not wholesale remission without cogent reason. Not garlands and laddoos." 

15:29 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Khushbu's remark on Bilkis Bano sparks debate, BJP says it endorses her comment against injustice to women

Actor Khushbu Sundar's tweet against the release of men involved in rape has set off a series of reactions and debate and her party the BJP on Thursday maintained that the release of 11 convicts by Gujarat in the Bilkis Bano case was as per law and there was absolutely no politics involved.

A leading women's outfit said it was time for persons like Khushbu to introspect, adding secular, democratic forces are the right destination to fight for women's honour and rights.

National president of BJP's women's wing Vanathi Srinivasan said that through her tweet, Sundar has conveyed that injustice must not befall on women and there is absolutely no second opinion about that. In this specific matter of release of 11 convicts by Gujarat, the due process of law was followed and the state government took a decision following the recommendations of a committee that made a complete scrutiny of each and every case, she said. (PTI)

14:47 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Pegasus inquiry panel found malware in 5 out of 29 phones: SC

The Supreme Court-appointed panels probing the unauthorised use of Pegasus found some kind of malware in five mobile phones out of the 29 examined but it could not be concluded that it was due to the Israeli spyware. The panels also said that the Centre did not cooperate with the Pegasus probe, a Supreme Court bench said on Thursday after perusing the report submitted by former apex court Justice R V Raveendran.

“One thing (the) committee has said that the Government of India has not cooperated. The same stand you took here, you have taken there,” a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said. The bench said the overseeing panel has submitted a “lengthy” report in three parts and one of the parts suggested amending the law to protect the right to privacy of citizens and ensure cyber security of the nation. (PTI)

14:10 (IST)25 Aug 2022
PMLA verdict review petition: What has the Supreme Court said?

The Supreme Court Thursday agreed to review the July 27 judgment upholding the Constitutional validity of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. 

The Court will review the verdict on two specific issues — sharing the Enforcement Case Information Report and reversal of the presumption of innocence.

It also issued a notice to the government on the review filed by Karti Chidambaram. Read more

13:24 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Delhi HC Bar Association bids farewell to CJI N V Ramana

The Delhi High Court Bar Association bid farewell to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Thursday.

Ramana is set to retire on Friday. Justice U U Lalit will be taking over as the CJI.

More from India
13:20 (IST)25 Aug 2022
CJI N V Ramana recuses self from hearing Maharashtra Waqf Board matter

CJI NV Ramana on Thursday recused himself from hearing the Maharashtra Waqf Board matter, in which Attorney General K K Venugopal has challenged the “sudden change” of the special counsel and alleged attempts to prevent him from appearing in the case.

"I can't hear this matter. Post before another bench," the CJI was quoted as saying by Live Law.

13:17 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Merely because the act was horrific, is it sufficient to say remission is wrong?: SC

The Supreme Court Thursday agreed to hear Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s challenge to the remission granted to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. 

The matter was heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath. 

While hearing the matter, Justice Rastogi asked Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who had appeared for the petitioners, that “merely because the act was horrific, is it sufficient to say remission is wrong?” reported law news website Live Law. Read more

12:32 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Meanwhile, Delhi HC refuses to stay 'Agnipath' for recruitment in armed forces

The Delhi High Court Thursday granted the Centre four weeks time to respond to the petitions challenging its Agnipath recruitment scheme and those seeking appointments in accordance with the previous advertisements in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. 

The division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad listed the matter for hearing on October 19. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, informed the court the Government will file a consolidated reply to the petitions. Read more

12:10 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Explained: The findings of the Pegasus committee, and what we know about the use of the Israeli malware

The Supreme Court on Thursday (August 25) took on record the report of the committee appointed by it to investigate allegations that personal communication devices of a range of people, including journalists, civil society activists, politicians etc., were targeted illegally using the Israeli-built spyware Pegasus.

Details of the report were not immediately available. The report has been submitted in a sealed cover. 

The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli remarked in court, however, that the Government of India did not cooperate with the committee. This was expected, because even before the Supreme Court earlier, the government had declined to disclose whether the spyware had been used to snoop on citizens. Read more

12:06 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Pegasus case hearing: CJI notes Govt did not cooperate in probe

While perusing the report submitted by the technical committee appointed by it to carry out a "thorough inquiry" into the Pegasus matter, CJI N V Ramana noted that the Central government did not cooperate in the probe. 

11:53 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Bilkis Bano case: SC issues notice to Gujarat govt in plea challenging remission of 11 convicts

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a petition challenging the remission of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The apex court issued a notice to the Gujarat government to file its response in the matter and asked the petitioners to make the 11 convicts party to the case. The matter will be taken up for hearing again after two weeks.

11:33 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Supreme Court agrees to review its PMLA verdict; issues notice to Govt

Hearing the review petition filed by Congress MP Karti Chidambaram over its Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) ruling, the Supreme Court agreed to review its verdict on two points: the sharing of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and the reversal of the presumption of innocence.

11:22 (IST)25 Aug 2022
PM security breach: Measures suggested to strengthen PM's security in report

The CJI noted that measures have been suggested in a report prepared by Justice (retired) Indu Malhotra, who was appointed to probe the alleged security breach, to strenghten the PM's security. The report will be sent to the government, the CJI added.

11:17 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Ferozepur SSP failed to maintain law and order during PM Modi's Punjab visit: CJI

The CJI bench on Thursday is hearing a plea related to security lapses during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Punjab visit in January.

After perusing the report submitted by Justice (retired) Indu Malhotra who was appointed to probe the alleged security breach, the CJI said, "Ferozepur SSP failed to discharge his duty to maintain law and order. He failed to do this even though sufficient force was available and even though he was informed two hours before that PM Modi will use that route."

11:09 (IST)25 Aug 2022
Court to decide what parts of Pegasus report can be made public

The CJI bench hearing the Pegasus case noted that some of the 29 people who had submitted their phones to be inspected by a technical committee have asked that the contents of the report not be made public. So the court will decide what parts can be made public. 

11:07 (IST)25 Aug 2022
SC says ‘inconclusive’ if Pegasus malware found on devices

Perusing the report of the technical committee appointed by the Supreme Court, the CJI bench stated that it was "inconclusive" if Pegasus malware was found on devices inspected by it.

The committee had examined 29 phones, of which malware was detected on five. However, it cannot be concluded if the malware was Pegasus.

10:55 (IST)25 Aug 2022
CJI bench takes up Pegasus case

As proceedings began in the Supreme Court on Thursday, a bench led by CJI N V Ramana took up the Pegasus case hearing. 

The bench is perusing the 3-part report submitted by the technical committee appointed by it to thoroughly inquire into the matter.

SC fast-forwards: Noteban among 25 cases to be heard by 5-judge benches

In a move that could effectively fast-forward some crucial cases, including challenges to demonetisation (2016) and reservations to the economically weaker sections (2020), the Supreme Court Wednesday picked 25 cases that will be heard by five-judge Constitution benches starting next week.

This takes effect from August 29, two days after Justice UU Lalit takes over as the Chief Justice of India. CJI N V Ramana retires August 26.

“Take notice that the following five judges bench matters shall be listed before the concerned courts from Monday, the 29th August, 2022 for directions including filing of common compilation, filing of short written submissions and tentative indication with regard to time taken by learned counsel. The matters shall thereafter be listed as per directions of the court,” a notification of the Supreme Court stated.

Explained: The findings of the Pegasus committee

The Supreme Court on Thursday (August 25) took on record the report of the committee appointed by it to investigate allegations that personal communication devices of a range of people, including journalists, civil society activists, politicians etc., were targeted illegally using the Israeli-built spyware Pegasus.

Details were not immediately available. The report has been submitted in a sealed cover.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli remarked in court, however, that the Government of India did not cooperate with the committee. This was expected, because even before the Supreme Court earlier, the government had declined to disclose whether the spyware had been used to snoop on citizens.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
First published on: 25-08-2022 at 07:47:20 am
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