New Delhi: The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions filed by the Editors Guild of India seeking a special inquiry into the Pegasus spyware scandal, alleging that it was targeted at opposition leaders, journalists and others. This time, the Supreme Court said that if the news in the media is true, the allegation is extremely serious.
A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramna is hearing the appeal. The second judge of the bench is Justice Suryakanta. The Editors Guild of India, in an application filed two days ago, sought details from the government about the spyware deal and the list of targets before the Supreme Court.
Earlier, senior journalists N Ram and Shashi Kumar had demanded a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a former judge meeting on allegations of espionage. His lawyer Kapil Sibal called on the chief justice to list the petition, saying it “has a huge impact on freedom and liberty”. “Journalists, opposition leaders and judges were on the list of potential targets,” Sibal told the chief justice.
Earlier, two more petitions were filed in the same case in the Supreme Court, one by CPM MP John Britas and the other by Advocate ML Sharma.
A media investigation involving several major publications, including The Wire, found that 300 phones from India were on the list of possible targets for the leaked database of NSO, the provider of Israeli spyware Pegasus. However, it was not established that all phones were hacked.
Rejecting an investigation claim, the government said no unauthorized work had been done by its agencies. Allegations of government surveillance of certain individuals have no basis or truth.
The NSO group, which only sells Pegasus to the government and government agencies, says it is not linked to the leaked database of phone numbers.