The government has denied all allegations in connection with the Pegasus spyware snooping scandal in an affidavit to the Supreme Court. The affidavit has been filed through the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The Centre said that all the allegations are based on conjectures and unsubstantiated media reports.
“At the outset, it is submitted that I hereby unequivocally deny any and all of the allegations made against the Respondents in the captioned petition and other connected petitions. A bare perusal of the captioned petition and other connected petitions makes it clear that the same are based on conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material. It is submitted that the same cannot be the basis for invoking the writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court,” said MeitY Additional Secretary Rajendra Kumar.
Kumar also stated in the affidavit that in order to dispel any wrong narrative, the government will constitute a committee for investigation. “It is, however, submitted that with a view to dispel any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests and with an object of examining the issues raised, the Union of India will constitute a Committee of Experts in the field which will go in to all aspects of the issue,” read the affidavit.
The petitions filed in the Supreme Court argued that the use of a spyware tool to snoop on individuals violates the fundamental right to privacy and cannot be justified as lawful surveillance.
The petitions also have asked for a judicially monitored probe into allegations that the tool was used against Indian citizens.
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