Editors Guild asks India’s top court to take BJP govt to task for Pegasus row

The Editors Guild of India has urged the Justice RV Raveendran committee to take cognisance of the “startling claims” made in a New York Times report on the purchase of Pegasus spyware by India and seek responses from the government and ministries that might have been involved in it.

The report said India bought the spyware as part of a $2-billion defence deal with Israel in 2017.

In its letter to the committee set up by the SC to probe the snooping row, the Guild said the panel’s proceedings should be open to public so that there was complete transparency with respect to witnesses being called and their responses.

“The claims in the NYT report are in stark contrast to the stance of the Union Government, which has been and continues to be vague and non-committal in its response to these extremely serious allegations that whether it purchased the spyware, and more disturbingly, if it was used against Indian citizens, including journalists and civil society members,” the guild said.

Asking the panel to expeditiously probe the issue and submit a report to it, the SC Bench had on October 27 last year ordered that the matter be listed for hearing after eight weeks. However, the case has not come up for hearing so far.