The Supreme Court on Thursday stated that as per the report no conclusive proof has been found regarding the use of Pegasus spyware in 29 mobile phones examined by the technical committee.
The Supreme Court also stated that five of these phones were found to be affected by some malware, not sure if it was Pegasus. The reports were submitted in three parts, two were of the technical committee and one report of the overseeing committee by a retired judge of the Supreme Court Justice RV Raveendran, said the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the technical committee said that the reports submitted, contained information about malware, information on public research material, and material extracted from private mobile instruments which are confidential and are not for public distribution. Technical Committee concluded that these five phones were infected with malware because of their poor cyber security.
The overseeing judge Raveendran submitted a report on protecting citizens, the future course of action, accountability, surveillance, suggestions on how to protect, recommendations etc.
Earlier, several pleas were filed before the top court on snooping row by senior journalists N Ram, and Sashi Kumar, Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas of Communist Marxist Party of India (Marxist) and advocate ML Sharma, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya.
Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abdi, Prem Shankar Jha, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi, who are reported to be on the potential list of snoop targets of Pegasus spyware, had also approached the top court along with The Editors Guild of India (EGI) among others. The pleas sought inquiry headed by a sitting or retired judge of the top court to investigate the alleged snooping.
The pleas said that the targeted surveillance using military-grade spyware is an unacceptable violation of the right to privacy which has been held to be a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19 and 21 by the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy case.