Pegasus: SC to hear Friday plea challenging Bengal probe

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Friday a plea challenging the setting up of a commission of inquiry by the West Bengal government to probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations.

The matter was mentioned on Thursday before a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana by the lawyer appearing for the petitioner NGO who submitted that the commission was going ahead with the probe despite the fact that the top court has constituted an expert committee in the case.

He said the state government had assured the top court that it would not proceed with the probe.

The lawyer appearing for NGO Global Village Foundation Charitable Trust sought urgent hearing in the matter.

The apex court on October 27 had appointed a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of certain people in India, saying every citizen needs protection against privacy violation and mere invocation of national security by the State does not render the court a mute spectator.

Former Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur and former chief justice of Calcutta High Court Jyotirmay Bhattacharya are the members of the commission of inquiry announced by the West Bengal government last month.

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.

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