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The CJI said, the petitioners are giving statements in the media. We want all the arguments to be held in the court. If the petitioners want to debate on social media, then it is up to them. But if he has come to the court, then he should argue in the court. He should have faith in the court. Whatever is the matter, say in the court, do not do parallel proceedings through social media. Kapil Sibal concurred with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The CJI said that one should have faith in the system. The court case will be heard on August 16.
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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Center during the hearing. He told the court that except Yashwant Sinha, the rest of the petitions have been received. We need time for instructions from the government. Hearing should not be kept before Friday. In these petitions Editors Guild of India and senior journalists N. Ram and Shashi Kumar and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha. In the last hearing, the court had said that if the media reports are true, then these allegations are very serious. Advocate ML Sharma, who had filed a PIL in the matter, stopped Kapil Sibal during the hearing, and the CJI objected to it.
Chief Justice Ramana told Sharma, “What are the details in your petition apart from the newspaper cuttings? You want us to do all the investigation and collect the facts. This is not a way to file a PIL.” A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that foreign companies are also involved in this matter. This is a complex issue. Someone should have appeared on behalf of the Center to take notice. The Chief Justice said that it was surprising that the Pegasus issue had come to the fore in 2019 and no one had made any serious attempt to collect verifiable material about espionage.
He said that most of the PILs are based on newspaper cuttings of national and international media. He said, we cannot say that there is absolutely no material in this matter. We don’t want to call everyone newspaper reports and stuff of reputed journalists. Some of those who filed the petition claimed that their phones had been hacked. You are well versed in the provisions of IT and Telegraph Act. It seems that they did not make any effort to file a complaint. These things are bothering us.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal on CJI’s argument said, we do not have direct access to information. There are 37 verified cases of espionage in the Editors Guild’s petition. The CJI said, “I also do not want to say that there is nothing in the arguments. Some of the petitioners who filed the petition are not affected and some claim that their phones have been hacked, but they have not tried to register the complaint.” done.” The CJI said those who should have filed the petition are more knowledgeable and resourceful. They should have worked harder to put in more material.
According to the affidavit, some Indian journalists have also been spied on, he said. This California court has also said but these statements are wrong. The California court has said nothing of the sort. After this, the CJI asked that what is the status of the court there now? On this, Sibal said that the case is still going on. Sibal said, we are also saying that the government should disclose all the things. For example, who took the contract, who gave the money? Sibal said that according to WhatsApp, the Israeli agency NSO made it for 1400 people, of which 100 are Indians. He said that the minister has also given statements. He asked how did the names come up in the Lok Sabha’s reply?
An international media consortium has claimed in a report that 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were included in the list of possible targets for spying through Pegasus spyware. The Editors Guild of India has requested in the application that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be set up to probe the surveillance of journalists and others.
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