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SC sets up 3 member panel headed by retired judge to probe Pegasus snooping row

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Oct 27: The Supreme Court set up a three member panel to probe the pegasus snooping row. The panel will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice R V Raveendran.

We are setting up a committee to probe the truth or falsity of the allegations to be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. The committee would be supervised by former Supreme Court judge Justice R V Raveendran, the Bench also said.

Supreme Court order on Pegasus snooping row today

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had reserved order on September 13, saying it only wanted to know whether or not the Centre used the Pegasus spyware through illegal methods to allegedly snoop on citizens.

The Bench said that it is compelled to get to the root of the controversy raised. Initially this court ha reservations but then various petitions were filed by people who are reportedly victims of surveillance.

The Solicitor General claimed many such petitions were self-service but this court cannot accept such omnibus contention. Union of India filed a limited affidavit that did not despite our saying it repeatedly that we are are concerned with issues of national security, the Bench.

Mere raising national security by the state will make a court shy away. National security cannot be a bug bear. There is omnibus denial by the Union of India that we cannot accept. There are 7 issues framed by us to be gone into by the expert committee. We also reject the request by the Union of India to allow them to set up the committee the Bench said.

The court passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by various persons, including senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar along with the Editors Guild of India, seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

The pleas seeking independent probe are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus. An international media consortium had reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.

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