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Pegasus snooping row: SC to set up probe panel, pass order next week on pleas seeking independent probe

A Bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana observed that experts that it wanted to appoint to the committee wouldn’t be able participate, citing personal reasons.

Pegasus snooping row: SC to set up probe panel, pass order next week on pleas seeking independent probe-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 23, 2021, 12:30 PM IST
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The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will pass an order on pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter next week as a Technical Expert Committee will be set up to conduct an inquiry into the snooping row.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana observed that experts that it wanted to appoint to the committee wouldn’t be able participate, citing personal reasons.

"We wanted to pass an order on the matter before this week... but some members we thought of considering for the committee... for personal reasons they refused to be part of this committee. Hence the delay," Chief Justice Ramana said.

"We will be able to finalise the members of the Technical Expert Team by next week and pronounce orders," he said.

Also read: SC says Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust must face 25-year audit

On September 13, the top court had reserved its order, saying it only wanted to know whether the Centre used the Pegasus spyware through illegal methods to allegedly snoop on citizens.

The Centre had firmly refused to file an affidavit citing national security on pleas seeking an independent probe into the snooping row.

An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile numbers were on an inventory of potential targets for surveillance using Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus spyware. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, ace poll strategist Prashant Kishor, two serving Union Ministers, ex-Election Commissioner, 40 journalists among others were found to be on alleged leaked list of potential targets.

The forensic analysis of several mobile phones, consistent with the petitioners, belonging to people listed as potential targets by the safety Lab of Amnesty International have confirmed security breaches.

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