News Wrap


On 05 August 2021, a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant of India’s Supreme Court considered allegations of snooping in the Pegasus related cases as “serious in nature”, if reports on them are correct. The Supreme Court asked the petitioners seeking probe into the Israeli spyware matter whether they have made any effort to file criminal complaint on this. The matter came to light in May 2019. There are provisions under the Telegraph Act or the Information Technology Act to file criminal complaints. The top court asked the petitioners seeking probe into the Israeli spyware matter whether they have made any efforts to file criminal complaint. The apex court also took exception that one of the petitions has made individuals, India’s prime minister and union home minister, as parties. On 10 August 2021, the chief justice of India told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing veteran journalist N Ram and Sashi Kumar who have filed one of the petitions, that “there must be some discipline”. The Israeli technology firm is called the NSO Group, named after founders Niv Carmi, Shalev Hulio, and Omrilavie. Pegasus is designed to infiltrate devices running Android, Blackberry, iOS and Symbian operating systems and turn them into surveillance devices. The company says it sells Pegasus only to governments, and only for the purposes tracking criminals and terrorists.

The Supreme Court on 16 August 2021 sought from the union govern-ment of India, a detailed affidavit addressing the contentions of petitioners, whether the government bought Pegasus or used it, or if it was not used at all. The central government has informed the apex Court that it will constitute” a committee of experts in the field, which will go into all aspects of the issue”. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the central government, submitted that if lordship approves, a committee can be constituted of neutral experts and not government officers.

Al-Qaeda And Is In Afghanistan
The two explosions in Kabul on 26 Aug 2021, claimed by the Islamic state, killed at least 170 Afghans and 13 American service members. The two suicide bombings near the Kabul airport, underscored the devastating power these groups still have to inflict mass casualties in spite of efforts by United State of America. In the months before American forces withdrew, some 8,000 to 10,000 jihadi fighters from Central Asia, the North Caucus region of Russia, Pakistan and Xinjiang region in western China poured into Afghanistan. Most are associated with the Taliban or al – Qaeda, which are closely linked. Others are allied with the IS- Khorasan, which has carried out dozens of attacks in Afghanistan in 2021, against civilians, officials and the Taliban themselves.

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Vol. 54, No. 13, Sep 26 - Oct 2, 2021