Pegasus spyware: Ashwani Kumar welcomes SC’s move to form 3-member panel

New Delhi, Oct 27: Senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to constitute a three-member committee to oversee a technical committee that will probe the Pegasus spyware case. The committee will oversee a three-member technical committee, comprising cyber security, digital forensics, networks, and hardware.
Ashwani Kumar said, “I welcome the Supreme Court’s order. It is a reiteration of the non-negotiable constitutional right to privacy. The order reinforces the court’s claim as the custodian of the citizen’s fundamental rights.”
“The order holds those in power accountable and reassures citizens that the imperatives of the constitutional governance will be enforced and that obfuscation on the part of government will not be allowed to defeat fundamental freedoms and inalienable human rights,” said Kumar, who is also a former Law Minister.
As per SC’s order, the three-member committee will be supervised by retired judge Justice R V Raveendran. The other members of the SC-monitored committee to oversee the technical committees are Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi. The court has asked the committee to examine the allegations thoroughly and place the report before it and post the hearing after eight weeks.
The Technical Committee shall comprise Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Prabaharan P, Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste.
The apex court in its remark said, “The present batch of Writ Petitions raise an Orwellian concern, about the alleged possibility of utilizing modern technology to hear what you hear, see what you see and to know what you do.”
“At the outset, certain nuances of the right to privacy in India- its facets and importance, need to be discussed,” the court said.
“Having regard to the importance of the protection of journalistic sources for press freedom in a democratic society and the potential chilling effect that snooping techniques may have, this Court’s task in the present matter, where certain grave allegations of infringement of the rights of the citizens of the country have been raised, assumes great significance,” it added. (Agencies)