Supreme Court Grants Four Weeks To Pegasus Technical Committee To Submit Report, 29 Mobile Phones Being Examined
The Supreme Court today granted four weeks to the Technical Committee constituted by the Court to probe into the Pegasus allegations to submit its report to Justice R. V. Ravindran who is heading the Committee.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the Petitioner and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the Center.
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli today read the interim report that was given by the Committee. The Court noted that the Technical Committee needs time to complete the investigation and 29 devices have been examined by the Committee till now, the committee has also issued notice to the stakeholders.
The Court observed that the Committee requires time to finalise the software to complete the investigation. The Bench also noted that there are two aspects, one is digital forensics which is under the purview of the technical committee and the other is the recommendations.
The Court then granted four weeks' time to the Technical Committee to give its report to the overseeing Judge, Justice R. V. Ravindran. The Court directed the overseeing Judge to submit his recommendation as soon as possible.
On the previous hearing, the Court was to look into the interim report filed by the investigation committee, but the matter was adjourned at the request of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The controversy regarding the Israeli Spyware Pegasus erupted in 2018 when several media houses published reports of the Pegasus software being used for surveillance on various journalists, politicians and activists etc.
The Apex Court, after considering the matter had constituted a Technical Committee to be headed by former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice R. V. Raveendran and the Committee had submitted its interim report.
In a public notice issued in February, the Technical Committee appointed by the Supreme Court had stated that only two persons have produced their mobile instruments for taking digital images.
Thereafter, the special NIA court in Mumbai had allowed the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) plea to submit the mobile phones of seven accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case to the Supreme Court-appointed technical committee looking into the Pegasus issue.