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Nothing To Do With Pegasus : WhatsApp Tells Supreme Court

Live Law News Network
16 Aug 2021 11:14 AM GMT
Nothing To Do With Pegasus : WhatsApp Tells Supreme Court
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WhatsApp's counsel told the Supreme Court on Monday that it has got nothing to do with Pegasus.This happened before a bench led by the Chief Justice of India which is hearing a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team or a judicial probe into the reports of snooping of activists, journalists, politicians and constitutional authorities using the...

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WhatsApp's counsel told the Supreme Court on Monday that it has got nothing to do with Pegasus.

This happened before a bench led by the Chief Justice of India which is hearing a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team or a judicial probe into the reports of snooping of activists, journalists, politicians and constitutional authorities using the Pegasus spyware.'

WhatsApp has been made as a respondent in one of the petitions. When the bench asked about the stand of WhatsApp, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the messenger platform, said "I have got nothing to do with Pegasus".

WhatsApp had filed a suit in a court in California(USA) in 2019 against NSO Technologies, the Israeli company which developed the Pegasus spyware, alleging that the spyware was planted into the phones of several WhatsApp users. WhatsApp sought a restraint order against NSO  and pay damages for allegedly violating the data privacy and interfering with the contract between WhatsApp and its users.

Today, when the hearing started, the Solicitor General informed the bench that the Union of India has filed a "limited counter-affidavit" in the matter. In its two-page affidavit filed by the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics & IT, the Centre denied all allegations raised by the petitioners as "based on conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated materials". Referring to the statement made by Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the Parliament on the Pegasus issue, the Centre's affidavit stated that nothing remains to be done in the petitioners, "more particularly when the petitioners have not made out a case". Also, the Centre said that "it will soon set up a Committee of Experts examine all issues raised in the Pegasus controversy to dispel any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests".
In the hearing today, the petitioners' lawyers repeatedly highlighted that the Union Government has evaded answering the question if it or any of its agencies have ever used the Pegasus spyware. The petitioners urged the Court to direct the Union to come clean on this issue.

Seeking to know if the Union Government wants to file an additional affidavit on using the Pegasus spyware, the Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a batch of PILs seeking probe into the snooping controversy till tomorrow.

Read More :  Supreme Court Wants To Know If Centre Will File Affidavit On Using Pegasus; Adjourns Hearing To Tomorrow



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