A Nagpur-based lawyer on Friday wrote to the Supreme Court appointed Technical Committee probing the Pegasus spyware scandal, stating that he has reasons to believe his phone was hacked and compromised by the spyware..Advocate Nihal Singh Rathod, who has represented Bhima Koregaon accused Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Ramesh Raichor, and Sagar Gorkhe offered in his letter to appear before the committee and submit his phone for probe."I have many reasons to believe that my mobile phone was hacked using Pegasus, by infiltrating WhatsApp application," the letter stated.He claimed that WhatsApp itself informed him via message that his phone was compromised by use if a spyware. "I was officially informed by M/s Whatsapp that my phone was compromised by use of spyware. Same was communicated to me through a whatsapp message sent by whatsapp itself," he said in the letter. I have retained said intimation on my phone records, he added."In such circumstances, should you think that examining my original device could be useful, I would be willing to offer the same for your examination as communicated in the public notice," he said.The letter was in response to a public notice issued by the committee seeking details from citizens who have a reasonable cause to suspect that their devices were compromised by the Pegasus spyware.It urged citizens to contact it with reasons as to why they believe their devices may have been infected by the Pegasus malware, and whether they would be in a position to allow the committee to examine their device.The letter by Rathod proceeded to outline the process of how he discovered that his phone was hacked and compromised. Rathod had been receiving WhatsApp video calls from a number that could not be picked, which upon being blocked would be repeated by different international numbers. After a formal complaint to WhatsApp, the calls receded. He received word that fellow advocates also faced a similar issue, including another lawyers involved in a Bhima Koregaon case.Over the course of the next few months, he and the other advocates were contacted by Canada-based Citizen Lab informing them of the presence of Pegasus on their phone, which is now on public domain after reports in the media. He added that there are reasons to believe that Indian agencies also used Netwire software, given the suspicious mails he and other activists received. He, therefore, offered to appear before the committee and produce his device.Further, he suggested that the committee should make its proceedings public and allow him to cross-examine the agencies involved.Besides Rathod, four accused in the Bhima Koregaon case have also written to the committee claiming their devices were compromised, Leaflet reported..Advocate R Sathyanarayanan who represented Rona Wilson, co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018 also claimed that his electronic devices were also subjected to snooping by Pegasus software as per report of US based forensic analysis firm Arsenal Consulting. He suggested the committee to look into the same and determine for itself whether that is correct.He also informed the committee that Wilson's electronic devices, including the hard disc and phone are with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and requested the committee to call upon the NIA to furnish the original electronic devises for examinationHe also offered to make available the clone copy of the devices which has been given to him..Last year on October 27, the Supreme Court had ordered a probe into the Pegasus surveillance scandal by an independent three-member expert and technical committees. While passing probe orders, the three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had berated the Central government for raising the argument of national security to defend its case stating that it cannot be an omnibus argument to gain a free pass every time the Court exercises judicial review..While passing probe orders, the three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had berated the Central government for raising the argument of national security to defend its case stating that it cannot be an omnibus argument to gain a free pass every time the Court exercises judicial review."State cannot get free pass every time by raising national security concerns. no omnibus prohibition can be called against judicial review. Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator," the top court had said..Subsequently, on December 18, the Supreme Court had stayed the functioning of the two-member commission headed by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Madan B Lokur which was constituted by the West Bengal government to probe the Pegasus surveillance scandal.