The Supreme Court on Thursday noted that the allegations of snooping are “serious” if the reports regarding it are correct. The apex court asks all the petitioners to serve their petition copy to the Centre, posting the matter further till August 10.
“No doubt, the allegations are serious, if the reports are true,” the CJI observed and raised the issue of delay, saying the matter had come to light way back in 2019.
Stressing that the reports of snooping came to light in 2019, CJI N V Ramana said that he doesn’t know whether any efforts were made to get more information, adding that he did not want to say that it was an impediment.
A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant was hearing the matter while senior counsel Kapil Sibal appeared for the Editors Guild of India and senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar.
The top court said that it was not going into the facts of each case and if the some people claimed that their phones were intercepted then there is the Telegraph Act under which complaints can be filed.
“I can explain. We do not have the access to many materials. The petitions have information about 10 cases of direct infiltration into phones,” Sibal said.
The hearing on as many as nine petitions, including those filed by the Editors Guild of India and senior journalists seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter is presently on.
They are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO’s spyware Pegasus.
An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware. (With PTI inputs)