The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the government on pleas seeking probe in the alleged Pegasus snooping row and told the government that it does not want it to disclose anything which can compromise national security.
The Supreme Court bench, comprising of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, said it thought the government would file a comprehensive affidavit in the matter, but only a limited affidavit was filed.
On Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's response that divulging information on affidavit would involve aspect of national security, the Chief Justice said the court doesn't want the government to disclose anything relating to it.
Mehta said the government had given its response in the affidavit filed on Monday and said that it would constitute a committee of experts to examine all the aspects of the matter. The panel will submit its report before the top court.
"Our considered response is what we have respectfully stated in our last affidavit. Kindly examine the issue from our point of view as our affidavit is sufficient," Mehta said.
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"There is nothing to hide," he said, adding that aspect of national security is involved, which cannot be a matter of public debate. He said the government will place the facts before the committee which will report to the Supreme Court.
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.
The court is hearing a batch of pleas, including one filed by Editors Guild of India, seeking independent probe in the matter 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 had reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.
(With PTI inputs)
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