Updated: July 30, 2021 12:38:38 pm
The Supreme Court said on Friday that it will be taking up next week a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed regarding a special investigation into the Pegasus snooping issue, involving allegations that opposition politicians, journalists and others were targets of the Israeli spyware.
Senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar have sought probe by a Special Investigation Team, headed by a sitting or former judge, into the snooping allegations. Their lawyer, Kapil Sibal, requested Chief Justice N V Ramana to list the petition.
This comes barely two weeks after a global collaborative investigative project revealed that the Pegasus spyware was used to target over 300 mobile phone numbers in India, including that of Ministers in the Narendra Modi government, various Opposition leaders, a constitutional authority, and several journalists and business persons.
The issue has also been the cause for multiple disruptions of the Parliament’s Monsoon Session as Opposition parties have united to protest against the alleged snooping and demanded a discussion into the matter in both the Houses.
The Narendra Modi government has denied allegations that the Pegasus spyware was being used to snoop on public figures. It has also called the report “sensational”, and an attempt “to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”.
However, Amnesty International, which was part of the investigative consortium, had issued a statement debunking the government’s claims and said that it “categorically stands by” the findings of the investigation. “Amnesty International categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The false rumours being pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others that the Pegasus Project has revealed,” the organisation said in a statement.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- 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.