New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday heard together nine petitions seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus spyware issue. Hearing the matter, Chief Justice NV Ramana said that if the reports related to espionage are true, then these are serious allegations, but except the Editors Guild, all the petitions are based on the newspaper. There does not appear to be any solid ground for ordering an inquiry. This issue has suddenly become hot again after 2019.
Kapil Sibal cites California case
Kapil Sibal, citing the lawsuit between WhatsApp and NSO in a California court, said that Pegasus spies, it is clear. It is a question of whether it was done in India or not. On this, Chief Justice NV Ramana said that we do not think that even in the California court, it has come out that someone was spied in India.
Supreme Court will hear the side of the central government
The Supreme Court will also hear the side of the central government in the Pegasus spyware issue. During the hearing, the Supreme Court questioned whether someone has given a copy of the petition to the Central Government. On this Shyam Divan said that we have given a copy to the Attorney-General and the Solicitor General. After this, the court ordered the petitioners to provide the copy of the petition to the central government. Now the next hearing of the case will be on Tuesday.
During the hearing, senior advocate CU Singh told the court that in July the list came out as to which people were spied on. On the other hand, Kapil Sibal said that on Owaisi’s question in Parliament, the minister has agreed that 121 people were targeted in India. Further truth will be known only when the court takes information from the government. On this, the Chief Justice said that our question has not been answered that why is the matter being raised after 2 years? After this Sibal said that Citizen Lab has made new revelations.
Know why you were spied on, why not FIR: CJI
Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora said that the effort of the French institution and the Canadian lab has led to a new disclosure. People have the right to know who used it in India and on whom? Have you checked? On this, Chief Justice NV Ramana said that if you know for sure that your phone was spied then why did you not register an FIR legally?
Shyam Diwan, counsel for Jaideep Chhokar of ADR, said that Chhokar’s phone was spied on. The governments of France and America have taken this seriously. We also cannot ignore it. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said that at least 40 journalists have been spied in India. There is no issue of tapping the phone of any one person.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said that senior advocate Arvind Datar said that under section 43 of the IT Act, we can seek compensation, but without investigation, how will we know who is responsible?