New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter. The plea claims that the alleged snooping was an attempt by agencies and organisations to muzzle the exercise of free speech and expression of dissent in India.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant will hear nine separate pleas — including those filed by the Editors Guild of India, on the issue related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and journalists by using Israeli firm NSO’s spyware Pegasus.
The Editors Guild of India in its plea seeks a special investigation team (SIT) be set up to investigate the reported surveillance of journalists and others.
As per one of the petitions, hacking of phones using the Pegasus spyware constituted a criminal offence punishable under Sections 66 (computer related offences), 66B (punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen computer resource or communication device), 66E (punishment for violation of privacy) and 66F (punishment for cyber terrorism) of the IT Act, punishable with imprisonment and/or fine.
Meanwhile, both houses of the Parliament saw repeated uproarious scenes as opposition members kept pushing for a discussion on the matter, while the Centre refused. On Wednesday, there were several protests outside the parliament which led to repeated disruptions for the day.