New Delhi: Senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar have approached the Supreme Court for an independent probe headed by a former or sitting top court judge into the Pegasus surveillance scam relating to alleged snooping on opposition leaders, activists, journalists and judges among a host of other persons.
The fresh plea that comes as the third petition seeking probe into the spying scandal, claimed that the forensic analysis of several mobile phones belonging to persons targeted for surveillance by the Security Lab of Amnesty International has confirmed Pegasus-induced security breaches.
It also contended that mass surveillance using military-grade spyware abridges several fundamental rights and appears to represent an attempt to infiltrate, attack and destabilise independent institutions that act as critical pillars of our democratic setup.
The plea also sought a direction to the Centre to disclose if the government or any of its agencies have obtained licenses for Pegasus spyware or used it, either directly or indirectly, to conduct surveillance in any manner.
“Surveillance/interception is justified only in cases of public emergency or in the interests of public safety, and the existence of such conditions must be inferred reasonably and cannot be determined solely on the assessment of the government. Neither of these mandatory conditions has been met in the present case, rendering the surveillance wholly illegal,” the petition said.