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SC Appoints Panel to Probe Pegasus Use in India: Meet the Members

The committee is slated to be overseen by former Supreme Court Justice RV Raveendran and comprises three others.

Published
Law
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Supreme Court will announce its orders in the Pegasus matters on Wednesday, 27 October.</p></div>
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Criticising the Union government for its refusal to clarify whether it had purchased and used the Pegasus spyware, the apex court on Wednesday, 27 October, appointed a special Technical Committee to probe allegations regarding the use of the spyware against Indian citizens.

The technical commmitte is slated to be overseen by former Supreme Court Justice RV Raveendran, and comprises:

  • Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor (Cyber Security and Digital Forensics) and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

  • Dr Prabaharan P, Professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala

  • Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra

But who is Justice Raveendran, and who are the other members?

Justice RV Raveendran

RV Raveendran, who retired as a top court judge on reaching superannuation in 2011, adjudicated a series of high-profile cases such as those on OBC reservation and 1993 Bombay bombings. He is known to have cited a conflict of interest and recused himself from the Krishna Godavari basin dispute.

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Post retirement, Justice Raveendran was part of the high-profile RM Lodha Committee, which was set up in 2015 to reform the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

In 2017, the apex court asked Justice Raveendran to supervise the NIA investigation into allegations of Kerala resident Hadiya's forceful conversion to Islam and marriage to a Muslim, reported The Print. Justice Raveendran, however, is reported to have said no to the request a few days later.

Further, according to The Print, in June 2021, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana released Justice Raveendran's book Anomalies in Law and Justice.

Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary

According to Gujarat's National Forensic Sciences University – where he is a dean and professor of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics – Dr Naveen Chaudhary has published more than 27 papers and articles in journals, magazines, and newsletters.

He has also reportedly been a recipient of the Chairman Chief of Staff Committee Commendation award for "drafting visionary document on Space technology capacity building in 2015".

The university's website says he has 23 years of teaching experience.

Dr Prabaharan P

A professor at the School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala, Dr Prabharan P was awarded the DRDO Academy Excellence Award 2018 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

SC Appoints Panel to Probe Pegasus Use in India: Meet the Members
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Dr Prabharan P has twenty years of experience in computer science and security areas and has been published in multiple reputed journals. According to the top court "his areas of interest are malware detection, critical infrastructural security, complex binary analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning".

Dr Ashwin Gumaste

Institute Chair Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Dr Gumaste is famous for his work on Carrier Ethernet Switch routers.

He has also published 175 peer-reviewed research articles and three books. Dr Gumaste has been awarded with the Swarnjayanti fellowship, DAE-SRC Outstanding Research Investigator Award, Young Engineer Award, Vikram Sarabhai Research Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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