The Supreme Court (SC) today said it'll take two-three days to pass an order on pleas that sought a special investigation team probe or judicial inquiry into the alleged surveillance of civilians, activists and journalists using Pegasus software.
Reserving the verdict today, Chief Justice NV Ramana told Solicitor General if there's any rethinking, the government could file an affidavit.The government had earlier told the Supreme Court that it'll not file the affidavit on these petitions seeking an independent inquiry. As per the government's statement in court, it has "nothing to hide". It even told the court it'll set up a committee of domain experts to probe these allegations.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana and also included Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, that whether particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion. He argued that making this information a part of an affidavit will not be in the national interest.
Mehta also said the committee set up to probe allegations will submit the report before the court. The SC bench also made it clear that the government can't make anything that could hurt the national security public. Before this, the government had filed a limited affidavit in the court saying the petition seeking a probe into the snooping scandal were "conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material".
The government has, however, assured the court that it'll set up a panel, which will dispel rumours spread by vested interests. The pleas filed in the apex court pertains to the allegations of snooping by the government agencies against at least 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers of several prominent citizens, including journalists, politicians and civil society members. These agencies used Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus to allegedly indulge in snooping, pleas have alleged.
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