Pegasus line: why no one filed a complaint under the computer law, Telegraph, Supreme Court asks petitioners


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India’s Chief Justice NV Ramana on Thursday asked why no one had filed a criminal complaint for unlawful interception under the Information Technology and Telegraph Act in connection with the Pegasus Line.

“We don’t see that any of them have filed a complaint,” CJI said.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the applicants, told the court: “We do not have direct access to information. There are 37 verified cases of interception.

Read: Spy allegations are serious if reports are true, Supreme Court says on Pegasus

Sibal said: “Please see N Ram’s petition. A lawsuit has been filed by Whatsapp Technologies against NSO in the California court. The California court order is attached to the petition. malware. The malware would then give defendants access to the device. The software can only be sold to governments. Not to private companies.

“The problem is the guilt of the NSO group. The information goes to the NSO group. They have the information even though it was done at the customer’s request. There is no doubt that Pegasus is infiltrating. The question is to find out if Pegasus infiltrated India, ”said Kapil Sibal.

“Why hasn’t the government taken action against NSO technologies? It’s a matter of security and privacy. These are questions that need to be answered,” he said.

The Supreme Court has heard a series of motions calling for a judicial inquiry into reports by the government that allegedly used Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists and journalists.

Kapil Sibal told the court: “Pegasus is malicious technology that is infiltrating our lives without our knowing it. All it takes is a phone and it comes into our lives. on privacy, on human dignity and on the values ​​of our Republic. “

Read: Parliament disrupted to protect family interests: Ravi Shankar Prasad attacks Congress on Pegasus line

However, CJI said, “Before we hear, we want to ask some questions. There is no doubt that the allegations are serious if the newspaper reports are correct. With the exception of the Editors Guild petition, other petitions are similar – based on paper reports. “

“You all know there is credibility of material, verifiable material on the basis of which we can order an investigation. This was made public two years ago. The people who tabled these petitions are highly educated. It is an internationally known problem. They should have done the hard work to get more material. We don’t mean that all newspaper articles, content from reputable journalists are hearsay or not credible, ”CJI said.

CJI also hit out at petitioner ML Sharma for filing a petition against the Prime Minister and other ministers. “Don’t try to take advantage,” the court told Sharma.

The petitioners have been asked to serve the copy of the petitions on the government. No formal notice has been issued and the case will be heard next week.

At a hearing on July 30, a bench led by Chief Justice V Ramana took note of the submissions of lead counsel Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the applicants in the case. The trial court agreed that the plea should be heard given the broad ramifications of the alleged espionage.

Applications to the Supreme Court, including those from veteran journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar, claimed that the alleged espionage represented an attempt by central agencies to muzzle the exercise of freedom of expression and expression of freedom. dissent in India.

The pleadings, which were filed on July 27, ask the Center to disclose whether the government or any of its agencies licensed the Pegasus spyware and used it, directly or indirectly, to conduct surveillance of the Pegasus spyware. any way.

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