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Pegasus probe: SC stays proceedings before Bengal panel

🔴 A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana also allowed a petitioner, who challenged the continued operation of the Commission despite the SC having constituted a panel for the probe, to make the Commission a party in the proceedings.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 18, 2021 4:54:52 am
Singhvi said he was not representing the Commission but the state government and had conveyed the court’s directions to the Commission.

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed all further proceedings before the panel constituted by the West Bengal government under Justice (retired) M B Lokur to probe allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Pegasus software.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana also granted petitioner NGO Global Village Foundation the permission to make the Commission a party in the proceedings. The NGO had challenged the continuing operation of the Commission despite the SC having constituted a panel for the probe.

The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, issued notice to the Commission. Responding to the petition that sought quashing of the July 27 notification issued by the WB government setting up the two-member Commission, appearing for the state, senior advocate A M Singhvi had assured the SC on August 25 that the Commission will not do anything till the court hears pending petitions in the matter.

On Friday, the CJI asked Singhvi how the panel had started an enquiry despite an earlier assurance given to the court. “What is this? Last time you gave an undertaking….but again you started enquiry?”

Singhvi said he had conveyed the court’s directions to the Commission. He added that the restraint on the Commission was till the SC passed its order after which the probe panel began its work.

“I had conveyed the restraint but the Commission is not controlled by me….I cannot as a state government ask them not to,” said Singhvi. The bench then went on to issue notice to the Commission and stay all further proceedings.


On October 27, the SC had set up a three-member technical committee to probe the allegations surrounding the Pegasus controversy. The functioning of the Committee will be overseen by Justice R V Raveendran, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, who will be assisted by two other experts. Besides Justice Lokur, the WB Commission also comprises former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya.

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