Pegasus row: 500 people, groups write to CJI seeking SC intervention

New Delhi: Over 500 individuals and groups have written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana seeking immediate intervention of the Supreme Court in the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

They have also sought a moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of Israeli firm NSO’s Pegasus spyware in India.

They have expressed shock over media reports that the spyware was used for surveillance of women students, academics, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and victims of sexual violence.

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Besides, the signatories to the letter have requested the top court to adopt a gender-neutral sexual harassment, data protection and privacy policy.

The letter also referred to the issue of alleged snooping on the apex court official who had raised allegations of sexual harassment against then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

For women, the Pegasus scandal is deeply concerning, for speaking out against the state and men in positions of state power has meant that their lives are wrecked by such surveillance permanently.

Human rights defenders have been imprisoned, and victims of sexual harassment have also not been spared such shocking forms of state sponsored cyber-crimes, which are analogous to digital forms of state terror,” the letter said.

The letter has been signed by various activists including Aruna Roy, Anjali Bhardwaj, Harsh Mander; scholars and eminent lawyers like Vrinda Grover, Jhuma Sen among others.

An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on a list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.

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