New Delhi: A plea filed in the Supreme Court has requested an SIT probe into the allegations that the government using Pegasus spyware to snoop on Indian citizens including politicians, journalists, activists, and businessmen.
The PIL filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma said that the Supreme Court should monitor the probe. International media had released a list of 300 Indian citizens who were spied on using the Israeli spyware Pegasus. The SIT panel headed by Shashi Tharoor is set to hold a meeting to discuss the matter on July 28, reported RepublicWorld.com.
The petition requested that the Supreme Court declare the buying of Pegasus software for snooping to be illegal and unconstitutional. It urged the Union Council of Ministers to return the amount issued from the public treasury with interest, without the permission of the parliament.
Advocate Sharma invoked the IT Act, 2000 and Official Secret Act, 1923 to claim that the CBI has not filed an FIR of his complaint on the Pegasus snooping case. He added that the union government has been unable to answer whether the government or its agencies purchased Pegasus.
A report by sixteen media houses claimed that over 40 Indian journalists, three major opposition figures, one constitutional authority, two serving cabinet ministers, current and former heads/officials of security organisations, and businessmen were among the targets of Pegasus.
The union government has repeatedly denied using spyware and snooping on Indian citizens. It also published a rebuttal saying that the Indian government is committed to free speech.