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Pegasus Row: SC to set up probe committee

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The Supreme Court on Thursday revealed that it will set up an expert committee to probe into the Pegasus snooping case. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the court may pass a detailed order in this regard next week.

In open court, Justice Ramana told advocate CU Singh that the apex court wants to pass an order this week in the Pegasus matter to set up a probe committee. However, he added that some of the experts they had in mind for the committee will not be able to participate, citing personal reasons.

CJI has said the order may come sometime next week. “We will be able to finalise the members of the Technical Expert Team by next week and pronounce orders,” said CJI Ramana.

Centre refuses to file detailed affidavit

Earlier this month, the Union government had refused to file a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Pegasus spyware scandal citing national security, but has asserted that it has nothing to hide. The government’s stand was in response to multiple pleas seeking a formal probe in the Pegasus row.

The apex court had then reminded the solicitor general that while it understood and appreciated the ‘national security’ argument, the government was only asked to respond to claims of hacking of individuals’ phones.

Pegasus scandal

Pegasus is a spyware developed by NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, which helps spies hack into phones. In 2019, when WhatsApp sued the firm in a US court, the matter came to light.

In July 2021, Amnesty International, along with 13 media outlets across the globe released a report on how the spyware was used to snoop hundreds of individuals, including Indians. While the NSO claims its spyware is sold only to governments, none of the nations have come forward to accept the claims.

 

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