Pegasus row: SC to set up probe panel

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it is planning to set up a committee of technical experts to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software made by an Israeli firm NSO Group and will pronounce orders in this regard by next week.

The Supreme Court will set up a committee, and appoint all the members, to inquire into the Pegasus snooping row, Chief Justice NV Ramana said, adding that interim orders would likely be issued next week.

The Chief Justice was hearing another matter when he told one of the lawyers – who also represents one of the Pegasus petitioners – of this development.

He added: ‘We wanted to pass an order on the matter before this week… but some members we thought of considering for the (expert) committee… for personal reasons they declined to be part of this committee. Hence the delay.’

The Centre had offered to set up a technical expert committee comprising independent experts to inquire whether Pegasus was used to snoop on phones.

The Supreme Court reserved its order in the matter on 13 September saying it will pronounce the same in 2-3 days.

‘We are…not interested in any manner or in any way to know the issues which are concerned about the security or the defence or any other national interest issue. We are only concerned, in the face of allegations that some software was used against some particular citizens, journalists, lawyers etc, to know whether this software has been used by the government, by any method other than permissible under the law,’ the apex court said.

 

NT Bureau