Serial PIL litigant Advocate ML Sharma has filed a written petition in the Supreme Court over the alleged snooping by government agencies using Israeli spyware Pegasus over journalists, activists, politicians, etc. He has sought a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team into these reports.
The PM of India Narendra Modi and the Central Bureau of Investigation is listed as the respondents in the PIL that Sharma presented.
The PIL raises the following issues:
• Whether the Constitution allows the PM and his ministers to snoop on the citizens of India for their vested political interests?
• Whether buying Pegasus software, without approval contra to the Art. 266(3), 267(2) and 283(2) don’t attract S. 408 & 409, 120-B of IPC?
• Whether snooping on the common citizen of India, opposition leaders, judges of the judiciary and others do not attract an offence S.3 of the O.S. Act of 1923 as well as u/s 65, 66 & 72 of the Information technology act 2000 couple with Violation of Article 21(Sic)?
It is mentioned in the PIL that when Ranjan Gogoi’s female staffer and some of her family members were listed as the potential targets of Pegasus snooping Pegasus allegations surfaced for the first time in 2019, the then IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad did not expressly deny whether India Government has availed the services of the Israeli Company NSO for using Pegasus spyware. According to a report in The Wire, the woman staffer had raised the sexual harassment allegations against the former Chief Justice of India.
In the past, Mr. Sharma has approached the Supreme Court with PILs on matters like the Rafale deal, Article 370, and Hyderabad police encounters.