India

“We want to know if you…”; Supreme Court slams Center in Pegasus case

The case was heard on Monday, saying the Supreme Court had given the central government more time to respond to all petitions filed against the government for monitoring journalists, judges and political leaders by abusing Israel’s Pegasus spyware. Chief Justice N. V. Raman had on August 17 issued a notice to the Center to reply to the petitions filed in the Pegasus case. The matter was heard on Monday. At the hearing, the Center said it was ready to form a panel to investigate.

At the hearing, the central government clarified that it would not file an affidavit on the matter. Explaining the reason, the Center said that affidavits could not be filed in such cases. But the government has agreed to set up a committee to investigate allegations of espionage. The court has upheld the decision. A decision on this will be taken in the next 2-3 days.

During the court hearing, Chief Justice Raman slammed the government over the issue. The court wants to know what the government is doing on the issue, Chief Justice Raman said. In an earlier hearing, the Center had twice taken time to file an affidavit, but now it has flatly refused, with Chief Justice Raman taking the government to task.

 

Following the hearing, the Supreme Court reserved its decision. It said a decision would be made on whether to set up a SIT in the Pegasus espionage case or a judicial inquiry. A decision on this will be taken in the next two-three days. The court also asked the central government to reconsider filing the affidavit.

On behalf of the government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the government was ready to form a panel to investigate the matter. “Whether any specific software has been used for espionage is not a matter for the public sector. The matter can be investigated by an independent committee of experts and reported to the Supreme Court, ”said Tushar Mehta.

The Supreme Court expressed displeasure with the central government over the Pegasus issue. Chief Justice Raman said, “You are going to the same thing again and again. We want to know what the government is doing. ” The Chief Justice also slammed the government over the public domain argument. “We are not going into issues of national interest. Our limited concern is about people. The appointment of a committee is not an issue. On the contrary, the purpose of the affidavit is to know what you (the government) are doing, ”said the Chief Justice.

 

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