A CJI-led bench was informed on Thursday by a panel the Supreme Court established to look into the Pegasus Spyware eavesdropping issue that it had not discovered any concrete evidence that the spyware was present in the 29 mobile phones it had examined.
Five phones were discovered to be infected with malware through forensic investigation, but the panel ruled that it was unclear if Pegasus Spyware was to blame.
CJI NV Ramana highlighted that the government was uncooperative with the committee and repeated its prior position of not disclosing whether it used Pegasus Spyware for spying on citizens while taking into account the panel’s sealed report.
The committee was established to look into claims that the Pegasus malware was being used to spy on journalists, politicians, and activists. The committee is led by former Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran. It had previously in July given its final report.
The court, which also included Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, announced that it will make the report filed by Justice RV Raveendran, the chair of the panel, available to the general public.
Raveendran had offered recommendations for a number of policies, including safeguarding citizens, future course of action, accountability, modifying the law to increase privacy protection, and grievance redressal mechanisms.
Details About Pegasus Spyware Row in Phone:
Following allegations that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including those of two Union ministers, more than 40 journalists, three opposition leaders, activists, and one sitting judge in India, may have been the target of hacking through the Israeli spyware Pegasus, an international media consortium launched an investigation.
The IT ministry stated that there had not been any “unauthorized surveillance,” which was a denial of the charges of spying by the federal government.
The Opposition had accused the Centre of not being transparent on the issue and demanded clarification if the spyware was used to snoop on Indian citizens.
Israeli company NSO Group, which produced Pegasus Spyware, has insisted that its spyware was only to be used by government organizations in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.