The Supreme Court of India is slated to hear nine petitions today on Pegasus snoopgate. .There are nine petitions that have been filed so far in the case, including by advocate ML Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas, Director of Hindu Group of publications N Ram and founder of Asianet Sashi Kumar, the Editors Guild of India, Jagdeep S Chhokar, Narendra Mishra, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abidi and Prem Shankar Jha..[Pegasus Snoopgate] These are the 9 petitions which Supreme Court will hear today.Pegasus made by the Israeli software firm NSO Group, can infect smartphones without users' knowledge and access virtually all their data. Sixteen international media outlets across the globe including The Wire had published the investigation into Pegasus software being employed by different governments world wide including the Indian government to snoop on political adversaries, journalists and Constitutional functionaries. .Names of Indian journalists, politicians, lawyers, activists, a Supreme Court Judge and others were reported to have featured in a list of potential targets for NSO clients. .Live updates of the hearing today feature here. .Adv ML Sharma appears Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal also present.Sharma: My matter and their matter is different. They are fabricating data.CJI: This is not the way of filing the PIL. What is the material apart from paper cuttings..CJI NV Ramana: Mr Sharma, we have gone through your writ petition. Mr Sibal can argue now.Justice Surya Kant: You made a complaint to CBI and the very next day you file a writ?.Sharma: my plea is not based on paper cuttings..CJI: You have the connections (links) to how many people? We are unable to hear you. You wait .Senior Advocate Sibal for N Ram and Sashi Kumar: Pegasus is a rogue technology and infiltrates our life without our knowledge. .Sibal: All that it requires a phone and enters into our lives. Its assault on privacy, human dignity and value of our human republic, it penetrates into our national internet backbone..CJI: The allegations are serious in nature if reports in media is correct. majority of writ petitions I can see i don't want to compare with similarities in foreign newspapers. .CJI: You all know that there is a prima facie material as well as credibility of reports where we can order an enquiry etc. unfortunately what I read from writs, in May 2019 this came to light i don't know there was no serious concern about this issue .CJI: People who should have filed the writs are more knowledgeable and resourceful. they should have put more hard work to put more material..CJI: I don't want to say also that pleas don't have anything. some of the petition who have filed the plea are not affected and some claim their phones are hacked. But they have not made efforts to file a criminal complaint.Sibal: There are names of people who are subject to direct cases of infiltration. In the editors guild matter there are direct infringement. Please take Mr Ram's plea and come to page 100..Sibal: There is an order of the California court. It reads as once activated it causes the target device to connect with the defendants malware. The malware would then enable and then data is transferred. This is a court order..Sibal: This spyware is only sold to government agencies and cannot be sold privately..Sibal: NSO technology is involved in the international arena. Its just not government but the declaration opens the aspect of the involvement in the international scene..Sibal: giving this to NSO is more serious. No one can dispute now that pegasus cannot infiltrate. It only has to be seen if this has been used in India CJI: I read somewhere that this agency said they sell to government..CJI: Somewhere I read this software is sold to vetted governments Sibal: California court had held that its done at the behest of the government..Justice Surya Kant: what happened in california? The country had claimed sovereignty immunity Sibal: the immunity application was rejected by the court CJI: What is the status? Sibal: it is pending in California court.CJI: You say in an affidavit that some indian journalists figure in the snooping list. Where did you get it from? This is in the affidavit by N Ram and says that California court names the indian journalists had their phones tapped. California court does not say it..Sibal: Journalists, constitutional authorities, court officers all were there. The question is have you bought the software, how much was spent? where was this hardware placed? These names cannot be included by someone in California or Israel.Kapil Sibal refers to the plea by Editors Guild and question asked by Owaisi in parliament: the answer was yes the spyware was developed by Israel group.. and that it included 122 users from India. This is a Minister's statement himself.The two judges discuss among themselves.CJI: Please continue Mr Sibal Sibal: if Centre said this is happening. Why did they not lodge an FIR. Why has the govt of India kept quiet. This is about indians privacy and safety. This technology cannot be used in India if not purchased by govt CJI: Can be State government also.Sibal: Govt of India needs to answer on that front. It is not an internal matter. We cannot give all answers as we don't have access and only government has. They have to state why they did not take any action. I am told its cost about 55,000 dollars to penetrate into once cellphone..Kapil Sibal: This poses a big threat to what our republic stands for. CJI Ramana: why suddenly has this issue cropped after two years? Sibal: we only got to know from Washington Post report and other media agencies. The extent of which was not known to us. How do we file this petition? Today morning we found out that even registrars of this court have their numbers in snooping list. Their phones was also accessed. Some members of judiciary also named.CJI: Don't name. Truth will come out .Kapil Sibal: Please refer to a diagram and see what can pegasus access. Social Media, videos, photos and emails can be accessed. Microphone can be activated along with camera and this is how it operates..Sibal: NSO says products used by central agencies to fight terror. All journalists, court staff are terrorists now. All that we want is notice..Senior Advocate CU Singh: Pegasus project was carried on by Amnesty, The Wire and other organisations and these two years were used to probe the list and phones that were tapped were forensically examined. Names of people snooped were not known till July 2021.Singh: Please read Section 9 of IT Act and the rules which states only centre and states can do this interception with strict checks and safeguards CJI: but you can file a case? Singh: there is no remedy here..Singh: Each and every month the interception orders have to be reviewed. CJI Ramana: In the Jammu and Kashmir 4G matter we have read all of this..Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora: The french group which had the list collaborated with other media houses and gave phones for forensics and that is how the names came out. On the floor of parliament this issue was raised in Nov 2019. Please see the John Brittas plea.....Arora: Minister Digvijay Singh had questioned on Whatsapp hacking... CJI: We have heard this.. Arora: then Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had responded that violation of law would be acted upon and said there is no unauthorised instruction being done..Arora: NSO had submitted before the California court that this software can be used only by sovereign entity. If it has been used after you deny then this needs to be investigated. We also need a agency which is independent with a judicial member..CJI: My question is if you know the phone is hacked then why wasn't an FIR lodged. That is the only question..Senior Advocate Shyam Divan appears: I appear for Jagdeep ChhokarJustice Kant: Your phone was hacked? Shyam Divan: yes, that was a personal infringement. .Shyam Divan: First regarding media reports, these are not just media reports here and there. On the basis of this huge investigating story has taken action based on this group in relation to NSO group. These media organisations enjoy very high degree of credibility. A whistleblower had released the numbers. These numbers are of judicical and constitutional authorities. Mr Chhokar is an academician and for a private citizen to find that a spyware is installed on his phone is equal to war against a citizen by the government..CJI: have you filed an FIR.Shyam Divan: No this case requires an independent probe by a fact finding committee. It has to be a highest level bureaucrat who replies to this preferably the cabinet secretary..Shyam Divan: Unlike govt secretaries attached to a particular department, the Cabinet Secretary will have an overview of all departments and know about the surveillance issues..Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi points to a list of 155 names which were snooped and I appear for one such individual whose name was there on the list..Dwivedi: The Wire confirmed that atleast 40 journalists who were targets or potential targets, seven phones were forensically examined and 5 showed confirmation that they were infected. SNM Abidi and Prem Shankar Jha were also there..Dwivedi: This is a huge thing where a foreign company is involved. If centre has used or directly used needs to be answered. Centre should have replied on own. This court has to take cognizance of this to ensure that citizens believe that their phones will not be compromised..Dwivedi: I understand tapping phones of terrorists etc but ordinary people phones cannot be compromised. This is a issue that involves constitutionality and not only criminality..Senior Advocate Arvind Datar: I appear for two journalists whose names appear in the snooping list. Regarding steps i can take is section 43 of IT Act allows me to file a suit for damages. We know pegasus has been used now who has used and when we don't know. So no civil remedy..Datar: Privacy is about privacy of one's bodily area. So there are no provisions for me to file an FIR.Arvind Datar: Somebody has definitely accessed my computer and remedy is damages and for this we should know who did. We need to know if the allegations are true. This IT Act was framed in 2000 and amendments were in 2009 CJI: 66A is applicable i think Datar: It was struck down.CJI: But there were rules framed in relation to Section 66A of IT Act.CJI: Section 66 also there Datar: Section 66 (c) also applies as we are on privacy. There are two partners - one is right in rem and other is individual cases which have come to light. Please see Section 66E where one intentionally captures the private area of a citizen is charged with violation of privacy.Datar: Now 9 judge bench stated privacy permeates all through part III of the Constitution. Today, 300 people have come to light, who else will take cognizance of this apart from judiciary. We don't know its 300 or 3000 individuals..Datar: This can be taken up as a class action case. Adv ML Sharma: please come to page 10 of my plea CJI: No please summarise.Sharma: Now Facebook and Whatsapp had signed a consent statement. There are apprehensions on what was said before USA court. Once you enter computer you get password and everything else. This is very important and any document can be planted. Declaration by NSO very important.Bench discusses..CJI Ramana: Anybody served copy to Centre Shyam Divan: we have given it to the Solicitor and Attorney General CJI: all other parties all serve your petitions to Centre.CJI: Mr Sharma the problem is your petition. You have impleaded some parties whom we cannot issue notice directly. Don't take advantage of this. List this matter next Tuesday and all pleas to be served upon Centre..The Supreme Court bench informed that another petition has been filed by Yashwant Sinha and not numbered yet.CJI: There are too many writ petitions. We will have to see Justice Kant: One of the pleas has challenged the vires of Section 69 of IT Act and Telegraph Act.Matter to be heard next on August 10 No notice has been issued.CJI led bench clarifies without Central government present in the hearing, the bench cannot proceed as of now.