New Delhi : Media journalists N Rama and Sasikumar petitioned Supreme Court seeking judicial probe into Pegasus scam. The petition relates to alleged deployment of the Israeli malware, Pegasus, by authorities to hack phones of a wide specturm including journalists and urges that a judicial probe be launched appointing a retired or sitting judge.
Former journalist at The Hindu, N Ram, is founder of Asian College of Journalism and editor at Asia Will. West Bengal already initiated a judicial probe helmed by former Supreme court Judge Madan B Lokur.
The petition comes after forensic examinations confirmed Pegasus phone hack on at least 10 journalists from India. The petition points out that scooping details from journalists’ phones amounts to infringement on right to freedom of press and citizens’ right to information. A probe should find how India’s legal system came to be overturned completely in the incident, the petitioners demanded.
Context : 17 media majors undertook an international investigative journalism initiative titled “The Pegasus Project” that revealed government espionage on high profile leaders, prominent businessmen, journalists and lawyers using Pegasus spyware. The malware was developed by Israeli company NSO which claimed its software was deployed only for official purposes such as tracking terrorists etc and further said that Pegasus was sold only to legitimate governments.