A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana said today that 29 phones were examined and malware was found in five of them, but there is no conclusive proof of Pegasus spyware, adding that the committee informed the court that the Indian government did not cooperate in its investigation. “The Centre has not cooperated,” the report stated.
The Supreme Court is reviewing a report submitted by a technical committee established on the alleged use of Pegasus spyware to spy on politicians, activists, and journalists’ phones.
According to the Supreme Court, the report is submitted in three parts: two reports from the technical committee and one report from the overseeing committee, which is chaired by retired Justice RV Raveendran.
One part of the report will be made public on the Supreme Court’s website, it said. “We will be making the third part of the report by Justice Raveendran on recommendations public on our website,” the CJI said, adding that the committee has asked not to publish the full report in the public domain.
Some petitioners requested a copy of the first two sections of the report. The CJI stated that the court will look into the demand.
“We don’t want to make any further comments until we have read the entire report,” Justice Ramana stated.
“After tomorrow, I will also express my opinion,” CJI joked when an advocate expressed his desire to speak.
The matter was adjourned for four weeks.
After global headlines revealed that the spyware from the Israeli firm NSO Group was used to target many people around the world, the Supreme Court formed an expert committee to investigate whether Indian law enforcement authorities obtained and used Pegasus.
The media outlet “The Wire” in India claimed that more than 142 people were targeted. According to reports, forensic analysis of some of the cellphones by Amnesty International’s Security Lab confirmed a security breach.