Six members including 3 cyber experts led by former judge
New Delhi (EMS): The alleged Pegasus espionage case, which created a whirlwind in the country’s politics in the last monsoon session, will be investigated. The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the committee of the central government and constituted an independent committee under the supervision of a former judge. While hearing the petitions filed on the matter, the court considered the allegation of violation of the right to privacy as an important matter. In the hearing, the Supreme Court said that he cannot remain a mookdarshan. The court has constituted a six-member committee headed by a former judge with technical support of three cyber experts to investigate whether there has been a breach of privacy in the matter. The committee will submit its report in eight weeks.
The Supreme Court committee is completely independent. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, while giving its verdict in the case, said that it is necessary to have justice and at the same time it is necessary to see justice being done. During the hearing, the Supreme Court mentioned the right to privacy and said that everyone wants to protect it. Technology should be used in the public interest. The three-judge bench also referred to author George Orwell, known for his ‘privacy’. The Supreme Court committee has a total of six members. Headed by Justice RV Ravindran, the committee also includes former IPS officers Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi. Three other experts have also been placed in the committee. These are Dr. Naveen Kumar Choudhary Professor National Forensic Science University Gandhinagar, Dr. Prabhaharan P. Professor Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeeth Kerala, Dr. Ashwin Anil Gumaste IIT Bombay.
The apex court had earlier on September 23 indicated that it may constitute a technical committee to probe allegations of spying using Pegasus spyware on journalists, social activists etc. CJI N. A bench headed by V. Ramana orally referred senior advocate C.U. Singh, who appeared on behalf of one of the petitioners in the Pegasus case, was told that some experts have expressed their inability to join the investigation due to personal reasons and an order on the committee is expected soon.
The CJI had said that the court wanted to pass the order this week. However, the order was stayed as some members, whom the court wanted to be part of the technical committee, have expressed personal difficulties about being on the committee. Because of this, the constitution of the technical expert committee is taking time, he said. He said that the court would soon finalize the members of the technical committee. The Center had already proposed setting up of an expert panel made up of independent members to probe allegations of espionage.
The Center had said that this committee can submit its report to the apex court. On September 13, in response to a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into alleged espionage, the Center had told the Supreme Court that it no longer wanted to file a detailed affidavit, clarifying that Pegasus spyware was used. was or not. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted before the apex court that the government would disclose all details regarding the Pegasus case before a panel of domain experts, but information related to national security was not included in the affidavit. Mehta had insisted that there are terrorist organizations that do not know in a better way what software is used to combat terrorism. ‘It has its disadvantages,’ he said.
Why did the Supreme Court form its own team for investigation by rejecting the Central Committee?
The Supreme Court has constituted an independent committee on Wednesday to investigate the Pegasus case. The bench said that it would not be right for justice. There is no government machinery in the independent committee constituted by the court. On Wednesday, the court said that it has appointed three eminent experts as members of the committee. Three more experts related to cyber security are also going to be available to help them. The court has asked the committee to examine all the allegations in detail and submit its report. The next date of hearing has been fixed after 8 weeks.
According to the court, the challenge was to find independent and competent experts without any bias, rather than relying on any government agency or private body. The court said that they have formed the committee on the basis of the resume and independently collected information. The court said that some of the candidates had turned down the offer of the court and there was a conflict of interest in some. The court said that it has made the most eminent experts of the available people as part of the committee. The court said that some of the petitioners are directly aggrieved by Pegasus. According to the court, we live in the information age and we have to understand that technology is important, but it is also necessary to protect the right to privacy, not only for journalists, but for all citizens. The court said that initially the petitions were filed on the basis of newspaper reports, then it was not satisfied.