Justice Arun Mishra’s Old Phone Number Besides SC Officials, Lawyers’ on Pegasus Target List: Report

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Around 50,000 numbers of India were part of the leaked data as potential targets  of surveillance and hacking by spyware of Israeli tech company NSO group.

Justice Mishra, who now serves as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, howevr, said that the particular mobile number ‘is not with me since 2013-2014.’

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The mobile phone number of Rajasthan once registered in the name of former  Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra was also in the leaked list of potential targets of surveillance and hacking by Pegasus spyware in 2019, The Wire said in a report on Wednesday.

However, Justice Mishra, who was sitting judge of the apex court in 2019 said he had surrendered the number “on April 21, 2014”.

“The number +9194XXXXXXX is not with me since 2013-2014. I don’t use this number,” Justice Mishra, who now serves as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) told The Wire.

The Wire, which is part of global media investigation into the Pegasus scandal, has put out a series of explosive reports claiming Indian phone numbers were part of the leaked data having around 50,000 numbers as potential targets  of surveillance and hacking by spyware of Israeli tech company NSO group.

In 2014, when the Modi government assumed power, Justice Mishra was among the first names to be cleared for appointment to the apex court. He had served as Chief Justice of Rajasthan and Calcutta high courts before that.

He was also involved in a controversy in 2018 when  four senior Supreme Court Judges held a press conference raising a cry over allocation of cases by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The controversy was triggered by petitions assigned to Justice Mishra seeking probe into the death of special CBI Judge B H Loya.

The Wire reported that apart from Justice Mishra the target list also contained numbers of  two former officials of the Supreme Court registry, N K Gandhi and T I Rajput, and lawyers handling politically high profile cases.

Two numbers used by Delhi lawyers Vijay Agarwal and his wife were found to have been added to the list in  early 2018 for potential surveillance.

Lawyer M Thangathurai, aide of former Attorney General for India Mukul Rohatgi was also in the list as potential target, said The Wire.

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