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Supreme Court stays proceedings of Justice Lokur-led commission investigating Pegasus

Over 21 entities and persons were asked to appear before the commission in connection with the Pegasus controversy.

The Supreme Court of India has stayed the enquiry being conducted by a Judicial Commission led by former SC judge Madan B Lokur, according to a report in the Times of India. The commission was set up by the West Bengal government to investigate the snooping allegations using Pegasus spyware which came to the fore in July this year. The bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant, and Justice Hima Kohli, expressed its displeasure over the commission continuing its inquiry despite the Supreme Court constituting an independent committee to look into the allegations, TOI wrote in its report. Why this matters: The probe ordered by the West Bengal government was the only investigation ordered by any government in India into the Pegasus controversy. The state government cited the Central Government's inaction as one of the reasons behind establishing the judicial commission. An investigation by the Pegasus Project, a consortium of news organisations, exposed that more than 50,000 phone numbers were either targets or potential targets of Pegasus spyware developed by an Israeli company— NSO Group. Over 300 Indian phone numbers were also included in the database. These numbers belonged to political leaders, journalists, human rights activists, businessmen, military officials, intelligence agency officials, and many others. What happened during the course of the latest hearing? Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing the petitioner— Global Village Foundation Charitable Trust, submitted that they are challenging the proceedings of the West Bengal commission. The commission had earlier sent out notices to political analyst…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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