Pegasus Project: Former SC Judge Arun Mishra, Lawyers Of Nirav Modi, Christian Michel On Target List

Former judge of the Supreme Court- Justice Arun Mishra- was also allegedly targeted with the Pegasus spyware, The Wire reported.

Along with the two staffers deputed with the crucial writ section of the apex court, former judge of the Supreme Court- Justice Arun Mishra- was also allegedly targeted with the Pegasus spyware, The Wire reported. The report is a part of series of reports published by the consortium of 17 media houses across the world that has exposed the alleged ‘snooping’ by various government agencies using Israeli spyware Pegasus.

The report claimed that a Rajasthan number “formerly registered” in the name of Mishra was added to the database in 2019. After retiring in September 2020, Justice Mishra was later appointed chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The two apex court employees who feature on the list are N.K. Gandhi and T.I. Rajput. While Gandhi has retired, Rajput is still working with the registry. Their phones were reportedly listed as potential targets in the “spring of 2019”.

Among the new names to have surfaced from the list of potential targets of the spyware are advocates representing Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamantaire, and Christian Michel, the British middleman who was extradited to India in connection with the Augusta Westland helicopter deal case, also feature.

The number of former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s junior, M. Thangathurai, also appears in the alleged liste of spying targets.

Since 18 July, on the eve of the monsoon session of the parliament, the consortium has been releasing lists of names from a database of numbers the media agencies claim were targeted using Pegasus, the military-grade spyware owned by Israeli firm NSO. The Israeli company, however, has so far rejected the allegations, claiming that its clients are “vetted” governments and their agencies, who use the spyware against terrorists and criminals.

300 Indian numbers have appeared on the list, including that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, political strategist Prashant Kishor, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s MP nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

Though the centre has rejected the allegations by the opposition that the former used this spyware to snoop upon journalists, politicians and others, the Supreme Court on Wednesday heard for the first time several petitions filed against the alleged snooping. The SC, however, has not sent a notice to the centre on the issue, and scheduled the next hearing on August 10.


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