New Delhi Aug 5(ILNS): The Supreme Court refused to issue notice to the Central government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah on a batch of petitions filed against the alleged snooping done on the mobile phones of a couple of Indian journalists and politicians through Israel spyware Pegasus, which came up for hearing today.
The Bench comprised by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, refused to issue notices to the Centre, the Prime Minister, and the Home Minister, as requested by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, Counsel of one of the petitioners.
The Bench, however, directed all the petitioners to serve a copy of their plea to the Government of India and slated the matter for August 10.
The apex court observed that since the allegations are leveled against the Union government, it cannot proceed in the matter, till a representative of the Central government is present in the court.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar said, “The software Pegasus infiltrates not only into our phone but also into the country’s backbone.”
The Bench replied, “No doubt the issue is serious. You all know that the credibility of the reports is questionable in the writ petitions. You people should have done more hard work to put more serious material in the writ petition.”
Mr. Sibal said, “The software can only be sold to the Government. Therefore, I only pray that notice shall be issued in all matters.
The Court then asked, “You have not answered our other question… why after two years?”
Mr. Sibal replied, “The news came out now, that is why the petitions have been filed now.
Senior Advocate Chander Uday Singh, representing a petitioner, said, “We have come today because the names of the people who are targeted have been revealed in 2021.”
Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora, also representing a petitioner, said “We have not slept for two years, the issue was raised in Parliament in 2019. The phones were sent to the laboratories in France and Canada… then the report came that the phones were infected by the Pegasus spyware. This particular software was sold only to sovereign authorities.”/ILNS/ABV/KR/SNG