0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

legal | IST

Pegasus row: SC hints at constitution of technical committee, says won't endanger national security

Mini

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, cited “national security” as it refused to clarify in the top court on the procurement and use of Pegasus.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday hinted at constituting a technical committee to look into the Pegasus row. A batch of pleas sought to know from the Centre if it took steps to probe the snooping allegations and wanted an independent probe into the alleged surveillance of certain eminent people in India through the use of Israeli spyware.
The apex court observed, “We are thinking that we will constitute a committee. None of us would want to endanger national security. For the defence of the nation, we will not seek such disclosure, not compelling the government to disclose. Let the competent authority under IT Rules take a decision on what information is to be shared with the court in an affidavit, we will take it forward from there.”
The apex court said it will take up the pleas for hearing after 10 days and will see what course of action should be adopted in the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, cited “national security” as it refused to clarify in the top court on the procurement and use of Pegasus. The Centre submitted that it will only clarify on procurement, use of Pegasus before a Committee of Experts appointed by it. The Centre also submitted that the government should be the one to constitute a Committee of Experts.
The pleas are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using the Pegasus spyware.
The apex court had said on Monday that it cannot compel the reluctant Centre to file a detailed affidavit on pleas seeking information if Pegasus spyware was used to snoop on certain citizens and steps it took to probe the allegations amid vehement claims that there was nothing to hide and it will set up a panel to examine all aspects related to the issue.
With inputs from PTI