NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a batch of petitions, including those filed by the Editors Guild of India and senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar, seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.
A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and justices Suryakant and Aniruddha Bose will continue hearing the matter.
On August 10, the top court had taken exception over “parallel proceedings and debates” on social media by some petitioners who have sought independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping issue and said there must be some discipline and they must have “some faith in the system”.
The top court had said that it would take a call on August 16 on whether to issue notice to the Centre on pleas seeking probe into the Pegasus row and emphasised that it is not against debate but when the matter is pending in the apex court it should be deliberated upon here.
The bench had said that it expects that petitioners who are interested in the matter would answer whatever queries the court would put to them by way of proper debate “in the court and not outside”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court that he needs instructions from the government on the batch of pleas.
The apex court is hearing a batch of pleas, including the one filed by the Editors Guild of India, seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.
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.
Earlier, during the hearing of the matter, the top court had said that allegations of Pegasus related snooping are “serious in nature” if reports on them are correct.
It had also asked the petitioners whether they had made any efforts to file a criminal complaint on this.
The apex court, which had asked the petitioners to serve the copies of the pleas to the Centre, had also questioned why the matter has suddenly cropped up now when it had come to light way back in 2019.
Editors Guild of India has sought in its plea that a special investigation team be set up to conduct a probe into reported surveillance of journalists and others.