Editors Guild approaches Supreme Court seeking SIT probe into Pegasus snooping scandal

'The citizens of India have a right to know if the executive government is infringing the limits of their authority under the Constitution...'

ByNL Team
Editors Guild approaches Supreme Court seeking SIT probe into Pegasus snooping scandal
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The Editors Guild of India has approached the Supreme Court seeking a probe by a special investigation team into Project Pegasus.

Bar and Bench reported that in a PIL, the guild also "challenged the constitutional vires of electronic surveillance, hacking and use of spyware, and the existing legal architecture for surveillance".

The PIL said: "The citizens of India have a right to know if the executive government is infringing the limits of their authority under the Constitution and what steps have been taken to safeguard their fundamental rights."

The plea also sought information on whether the union of India had procured, licensed, obtained and used Pegasus on Indian citizens or if it had entered into "contracts, agreements, memoranda of understanding...with foreign countries for supplying spyware, hacking or electronic surveillance for use on Indian citizens".

It asked the court to direct the union government to disclose "details or the list of people that have been under electronic surveillance, hacking, or otherwise spied on, including the details of who prepared and populated the said list and the details of every Indian citizen on the list".

Earlier, five journalists who were named as "potential targets" of Pegasus had moved the Supreme Court contending that the unauthorised use of surveillance by government agencies has violated their fundamental rights under the constitution.

Last week, journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar also approached the apex court for a judicial inquiry into the Pegasus scandal.

Also Read :
Government must disclose if it bought and used Pegasus, N Ram and Sashi Kumar petition Supreme Court
Journalists on Pegasus potential target list move SC against unauthorised use of surveillance

On July 18, an investigation published in the Wire revealed that 40 Indian journalists, along with political leaders and election strategists were potential targets of Pegasus. The Wire is one of the 17 news organisations across the world that collaborated with a Paris-based non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty's Security Lab. Both these organisations had access to a list of more than 50,000 cellphone numbers “concentrated in countries known to surveil their citizens and also known to have been clients of NSO Group”.

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