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India's Top Court Says Pegasus Snoopgate 'Serious if Reports Are Correct' Amid Government's Silence

© AFP 2021 / SAJJAD HUSSAIN Indian Supreme court in New Delhi
 Indian Supreme court in New Delhi - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.08.2021
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On 27 July, senior Indian journalists approached the Supreme Court of India demanding an independent investigation into the Pegasus spyware case. According to a bombshell report by a consortium of media outlets, the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware could potentially be snooping on over 50,000 influential people worldwide, including in India.
The Supreme Court of India on Thursday said the Pegasus spyware controversy was a serious affair, if the developments being reported by the media are to be believed.
The court was hearing a  set of petitions filed by members of the media community, seeking quick investigation.
India's opposition parties have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of being involved in this spy attack that targeted Indian journalists, scientists and politicians in order to curb dissent, something which the government has vehemently denied.
"No doubt the allegations are serious, if the reports on it are correct. The truth has to come out," a two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said. 
India's top court has directed the petitioners, including the Editors Guild of India, to serve a copy of their petitions to the national government.
​The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for next week; representatives from the central government have also been summoned. 
The development comes at a time when the Modi government is seemingly dodging confrontation over the Pegasus spyware case that ostensibly violated the privacy of Indian nationals. 
In recent days, the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament has been disrupted several times with sloganeering by the opposition parties demanding an immediate inquiry into the Pegasus row. 
Last month, Indian IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the speculation that the government is somehow involved in the spying row is baseless.
Since then, the topic has not been addressed in detail by the government.
Pegasus' developer, the Israeli company NSO Group, has previously said that it sells the spyware to governments mainly to help security agencies keep track of unlawful or terrorist activities. 
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