CPI-M Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to conduct an investigation by an SIT under the court’s monitoring into the recent allegations on the use of Pegasus spyware for snooping activists, journalists and other prominent persons.

The petition claimed that the recent Pegasus snooping allegations were causing huge apprehensions and great agony for the citizens as it violated freedom of speech under Article 19(1) (a) as well as personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution, Deccan Herald reported.

Only a proper court-monitored investigation can alleviate these apprehensions and agonies, the plea by Brittas, senior journalist and managing director of Kairali TV, added.

 Snooping, phone tapping, wiretapping, line bugging, monitoring of the phone or internet-based conversations by a third party, often by covert acts are critical invasions into an individual’s privacy, it pointed out.

“Tapping has become a weapon against activists, journalists, and politicians either to spy on or discredit them. There is no data protection law in India and in the absence of the same the only refuge for the citizenry from such snooping is judiciary alone,” the PIL said.

It contended there was an apprehension that Pegasus spyware was illegally installed for the aid of the governmental agencies.

The phones of CBI officers and other agencies were allegedly intercepted, so the court should order SIT probe to create trust in the eyes of the general public, the plea added.

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