Pegasus Issue: SC to Hear Pleas Seeking Probe on Aug 5
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on August 5 the pleas, including the one filed by senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar, who have sought an independent probe by a sitting or a retired judge into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.
According to the cause list uploaded on the apex court website, a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant would hear on August 5 three separate petitions seeking probe into the reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli spyware Pegasus.
On July 30, the top court had said it would hear next week the plea filed by Ram and Kumar in the matter.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the senior journalists, had told the court last week that the plea needed an urgent hearing in view of its wide ramifications.
According to the plea, the alleged snooping represented an attempt by agencies and organisations to muzzle the exercise of free speech and expression of dissent in India.
The petition also seeks a direction to the Centre to disclose if the government or any of its agencies obtained licence for Pegasus spyware and used it, either directly or indirectly, to conduct surveillance in any manner.
The petitioners have claimed that investigations involving several leading publications around the world have revealed that several Indians, including journalists, lawyers, ministers, opposition politicians and activists, have been identified as potential targets for surveillance using the Pegasus software.
Besides the plea filed by Ram and Kumar, two separate petitions on the issue have been filed in the apex court by advocate M L Sharma and John Brittas.