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“Snooping Allegations Serious, If Reports Are True”: Supreme Court On Pegasus Row

The bench directed the lawyers to serve a copy of their petitions to the Centre. The matter will be heard next on Tuesday and the Centre has to be present at the hearing.

The allegations of snooping are serious if the reports regarding it are correct, the Apex Court said on Thursday as it commenced hearing on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Editors Guild of India and senior journalists N. Ram and Sashi Kumar, was asked several questions at the outset by a bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Surya Kant.

“Before going into all that, we have certain questions. No doubt, the allegations are serious, if the reports are true,” the CJI observed, and then went on to raise the issue of delay, saying the matter had come to light way back in 2019.

The CJI observed that the reports of snooping came to light in 2019. I do not know whether any efforts were made to get more information, he said, adding that he did not want to say that it was an impediment.

The top court said that it was not going into the facts of each case and if the some people claimed that their phones were intercepted then there is the Telegraph Act under which complaints can be filed.

“I can explain. We do not have the access to many materials. The petitions have information about 10 cases of direct infiltration into phones,” Sibal said.

The bench directed the lawyers to serve a copy of their petitions to the Centre. The matter will be heard next on Tuesday and the Centre has to be present at the hearing.

“Truth has to come out,” the court said, according to NDTV. “We don’t know whose names are there [on the list of potential targets of surveillance].”

 

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