The Supreme Court-appointed technical committee has informed the court that it would submit the Pegasus probe report by May end. A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana noted the supervising judge would have to examine the technical committee report. And, the former top court judge will need some time to examine recommendations of the technical committee, it added.
The committee informed the top court that 29 mobile devices have been examined. The top court extended the time as sought by the committee. It noted that the technical committee has examined some phones and have issued notices to others to depose before it. Final report is expected to be submitted in the top court in the middle of June. The top court said that preferably the process by technical committee should be over in four weeks and the supervisory judge should be informed. The matter will be heard again in July.
The Supreme Court, in its order passed on October 27, 2021, constituted a technical committee under the oversight of Justice (retd) R.V. Raveendran to enquire, investigate, and determine certain matters relating to the complaint of unauthorised use of Pegasus spyware against Indian citizens, in the matter of Manohar Lal Sharma vs. Union of India and others. Justice Raveendran is overseeing the functioning of the technical committee and he is assisted by Alok Joshi, former IPS officer and Dr Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in International Organisation of Standardisation/International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee.
The three members of the technical committee are Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor (Cyber Security and Digital Forensics) and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Dr Prabaharan P., Professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala, and Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair, Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
A batch of petitions, including those by advocate M.L. Sharma, CPI-M MP John Brittas, journalist N. Ram, former IIM professor Jagdeep Chokkar, Narendra Mishra, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Rupesh Kumar Singh, S.N.M. Abdi and Editors Guild of India were filed seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations.
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