The Editors Guild of India has moved Supreme Court seeking SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping scandal.
The Guild sought a direction for disclosure from the Union government on the alleged use of spyware for hacking and electronic surveillance between 2017 and 2021.
It further sought a direction to monitor the investigation into the procurement and use of spyware, hacking or electronic surveillance tools such as ‘Pegasus’ in India.
The editors’ body also sought the issuance of guidelines on surveillance against Indian citizens and safeguarding journalists from electronic surveillance, spying and hacking.
The plea said surveillance, besides being unconstitutional and illegal, impeded the free flow of ideas and information, and has a chilling effect on public actors holding the government accountable.
“This has a severely detrimental impact on the ability of politicians and public officials to freely exercise their freedom of profession,” it said.
The petitioner also demanded laying down of guidelines for safeguarding women who worked as journalists from gendered crimes through surveillance, including electronic surveillance, spying and hacking.
Earlier, advocate M L Sharma, Rajya Sabha CPI-M MP John Brittas, senior journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar and one by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta filed petitions in the top court seeking an investigation into the scandal.
The SC has listed the matter for hearing on August 5.