Ground Report | New Delhi: Pegasus case: Central govt refuses; During the hearing held on Monday in the alleged Pegasus espionage case, the central government told the Supreme Court that it would not file an affidavit regarding the petitions filed to investigate the matter.
The central government has said before a bench of Chief Justice Justice NV Ramana that ‘terrorist organizations should not know what software is being used to fight terror’. After the decision of the Center not to file the affidavit, the Supreme Court has reserved the order of this case. The Supreme Court will now pass an interim order in the next two days.
Pegasus case: Central govt refuses
Advocate Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the central government, said that ‘whether particular software is used or not, this matter is not for the public domain.
In the Supreme Court, the central government has once again referred to ‘national security, on which the Supreme Court said that it understands the logic of ‘national security, that is why the government has been asked to respond only to claims like hacking people’s phones.
Justice Surya Kant said, “Last time also the argument of national security had come up and we had made it clear that no one can interfere in national security in any way. We asked you that there is a claim of hacking the phones of individual people. So you file your affidavit to whom this right has been given.”
He said, “We are concerned about the issues of the personal phones being hacked. Which agency has this power and whether anyone is authorized to do it or not. There are some people here who have said that their right to privacy has been violated.”
Govt proposed to form an inquiry committee
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the issue can be examined by a committee of experts related to this field, which can file its report in the Supreme Court.
The Solicitor General said that the central government will constitute a technical committee of experts and will investigate the phones of the petitioners and people who have claimed to be spying on them. He said that only this committee will find out whether this spying was done from Pegasus or it was a case of phone hacking.
A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant, and Justice Hima Kohli told Solicitor General Mehta, “The Supreme Court had given a fair and fair opportunity to file a detailed affidavit so that their opinion on the important issues related to the petition could be known. If the government does not do so, the Supreme Court will hear the various parties and issue an appropriate order.”
The three-judge bench, while hearing the matter on September 7, had given more time to the central government to respond to the petitions as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said that he could not get official permission to file the affidavit.