Five journalists, who as per media reports were targets of Pegasus spyware, have moved the Supreme Court stating that the unauthorized use of surveillance by government agencies have violated their fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution since they are directly affected by the use of pegasus spyware..The petitioners, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abdi, Prem Shankar Jha, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi prayed that directions be issued to the Central government to produce and disclose to the Supreme Court all materials and documents with respect to all investigation, authorisation, and orders pertaining to the use of Pegasus on them.Pertinently, the petitioners prayed that a judicial oversight mechanism be put in place to deal with any complaints on illegal breaches of privacy and hacking and to punish all government officials responsible for such breaches.The petitioner alleged that they were subjected to "deeply intrusive surveillance and hacking by the Government of India or some other third party"..It was further submitted that forensic examination of their mobile phones done by Amnesty International has revealed that their mobile phones were targeted using the Pegasus malware..The plea filed through advocate-on-record Prateek Chadha highlighted the particular threat posed by this kind of spying/surveillance to journalistic sources and whistle blowers and asked the Court to intervene to ensure that a vibrant and free press can continue to exist to ensure transparency in the functioning of the State..The plea stated that hacking using military-grade technology such as Pegasus on a smartphone, which falls within the definitions of ‘computer’ and ‘computer system’ as under Section 2 of the IT Act, is ex facie illegal and violates Section 43(a), 43(b), 43(c) and 43(d) of the IT Act, as it involves accessing a computer / computer system by introducing a ‘contaminant’ or ‘virus’; damaging the device and extracting data without permission of the owner of the device."Pegasus therefore is a ‘computer virus’ and a ‘computer contaminant’ as under the IT Act since it is designed to attach itself to a targeted device, and then modify, record and transmit data from the targeted devices," the plea said. .The petitioners submitted that "unique and incomparable nature of harms posed by the state-sponsored illegal hacking of inter alia the Petitioner’s smartphone are an ex facie violation of his fundamental rights under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution and the impugned acts have caused irreparable injury and harm that warrant payment of damages or other rehabilitative measures to be imposed qua Respondents to secure and enforce the Petitioner’s fundamental rights."The plea also sought directions to be issued to the government to take suitable steps to protect Indian citizens from the use of malware such as Pegasus..This would be the first instance of persons allegedly affected by Pegasus snooping moving a court in India. There are currently three petitions concerning pending before the top court seeking probe into Pegasus snoopgate but those are in the nature of public interest litigation (PIL) petitions by unaffected third parties. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana led bench is slated to hear those PILs on August 5.