The Supreme Court in October last year appointed a three-member expert committee to probe the Pegasus scandal.
On Friday the Supreme Court in the Pegasus surveillance scandal granted additional time to the 3-member expert committee to submit its final report.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli noted that at least 29 mobile devices are being examined by the committee and it has sought additional time to complete the exercise.
“29 mobile devices are being examined. They have invited objections and the mobile devices are still being examined. Technical committee has seized 29 devices and examined some. Once the technical committee submits a report to supervisory judge, the judge will also add his comments. So we deem it fit to extend the time. We direct technical committee to expedite examination of devices,”the Court said in its order
The court further added that the process should by the technical committee preferably be over in 4 weeks and the supervisory judge should be informed.
The court adjourned the matter and will be heard again in July.
The supreme court in October last year had appointed a three-member expert committee to probe the Pegasus scandal.
The there committee is headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice RV Raveendran and assisted by Alok Joshi (former IPS Officer) and Dr. Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in (International Organisation of Standardisation/International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee).
Pegasus spyware belongs to Israel-based spyware firm NSO, which it claims is sold only to “vetted governments” and not to private entities, though the company does not reveal to which governments it had sold the controversial product.
The Wire an international consortium of news outlets, including the Indian news portal, had recently released a series of reports indicating that the said the software may have been used to infect the mobile devices of several persons including Indian journalists, activists, lawyers, officials, a former Supreme Court judge and others.
The reports had referred to potentially targeted a list of phone numbers. Upon analysis by a team from Amnesty International, some of these numbers were found to have traces of a successful Pegasus infection, while some showed attempted infection.
The supreme court witnessed a slew of petitions that came before it seeking a probe into the allegations.
Advocate ML Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas, Director of Hindu Group of publications N Ram and founder of Asianet Sashi Kumar, Editors Guild of India, journalists Rupesh Kumar Singh, Ipsa Shatakshi, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abidi and Prem Shankar Jha are the petitioners.
The Supreme Court had constituted the expert committee pursuant to petition.