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Live Updates Pegasus spyware case Hearing [Supreme Court Live Updates]

Pegasus spyware case Hearing

Oct 27, 2021

CJI NV Ramana: Justice Should not only be done but seen to be done

Others in the committee:

Alok Joshi, former IPS officer (1976 batch)

ii.Dr. Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in (International Organisation of Standardisation/ International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical)

The three members Technical Committee shall comprise of:
i.Dr. Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor (Cyber Security and Digital Forensics) and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

ii.Dr. Prabaharan P., Professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala. 
iii.Dr. Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra

CJI NV Ramana began the judgment with:

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”
-George Orwell, 1984

CJI: "We decline the Respondent-Union of India’s plea to allow them to appoint an Expert Committee for the purposes of investigating the allegations, as such a course of action would violate the settled judicial principle against bias."

Bench Assembles

Bench: Present batch of writ  petitions raise concern.

This court has never covered  from protecting all from abuse of fundamental rights.

Some petitioners are direct victims of attack and some are PIL petitioners.

Bench: Members of democratic society have reasonable concern of privacy. Citizens need to be protected from violation of privacy.

CJI NV Ramana: the present batch of matters is with regarding to use of modern technology.... this court is called upon to examine the use of such a technology. Our effort is to uphold the constitutional principle without being consumed into political rhetoric

CJI NV Ramana: some of the petitioners are direct victims of pegasus. it is incumbent upon the centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology. i have discussed the need for protecting right to privacy in India

CJI NV Ramana: We live in the era of information..we must recognise while technology is important ..it is important to safeguard right to privacy, Not only journalists etc but privacy is important for all citizens

CJI NV Ramana: there are restrictions on right to privacy but those restrictions have to stand constitutional scrutiny. In today's world restriction on privacy is to prevent terrorism activity and can only be imposed when needed to protect national security

CJI NV Ramana: it is undeniable that under surveillance it affects the right and freedom of people and how it is exercised. it also about freedom of press and the important role played by them, such technology may have chilling effect on right to press

CJI NV Ramana: initially this court was not satisfied with the writ petitions based on newspaper reports. This court usually discourages PILs which are based on newspaper reports. however various other petitions have been filed by ones who have been direct victims

CJI NV Ramana: SG had suggested that such reports are motivated however such omnibus oral submissions cannot be accepted.

CJI NV Ramana: this court gave ample time to Centre to disclose all information regarding the pegasus attack since 2019. However only a limited affidavit was filed throwing no light. if centre made stand clear the burden on us would have been less

CJI NV Ramana: state cannot get free pass everytime by raising national security concerns. no omnibus prohibition can be called against judicial review. Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator

CJI NV Ramana: there has been no specific denial by centre. thus we have no option but to accept the submissions of petitioner prima facie and thus we appoint an expert committee whose function will be overseen by the supreme court

CJI NV Ramana: such committees have been formed to probe the falsity and discover truth. Right to privacy violation needs to be examined. No clear stand by union of India. there is serious concern of foreign agency involvement by surveilling Indians

CJI NV Ramana: We decline request of Union of India to dismiss this and allow their request to form a committee. it was an uphill task to choose independent members. we have selected this on based on data gathered personally.

CJI: We have chosen renowned experts to be a part of this committee. the experts in cyber security and forensics. this three-member committee will be headed by RV Raveendran, former SC Judge. It will have Mr Alok Joshi as a member.

CJI NV Ramana: The terms of reference is detailed in the order. The committee is requested to expeditiously probe this matter.

List this matter after 8 weeks.

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