Wednesday , September 22 2021

Pegasus case: Centre cites national security as Supreme Court asks for detailed affidavit

pegasus snooping row
Image Source : PTI/REPRESENTATIVE

Pegasus case: Centre cites national security as Supreme Court asks for detailed affidavit

Pegasus case hearing: The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court it doesn’t wish to file detailed affidavit on pleas seeking independent probe into alleged Pegasus snooping row.

“This is in interest of nation and security of nation. Which software was used and which software not used cannot be on affidavit but it will be before the experts, stating such things have its own pitfalls and should not become a part of public discourse,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court as it resumed hearing on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged snooping on certain people in India involving Israeli spyware Pegasus.

Chief Justice NV Ramana, who heads the three-judge bench hearing the case, pointed out that filing an affidavit was important as it would then be clear where the government stands over the issue.

“We are going back again and again, we are not interested to know what you are doing to protect interest of the country, etc. Your minister admitted that govt taken note of software being used. Appointing a committee or making inquiry is not the question here. if you file an affidavit then we know where you stand,” CJI Ramana said.

The Centre had earlier filed a limited affidavit in the apex court saying the pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations are based on “conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material”.

On August 17, the top court had issued notice to the Centre on the pleas, making it clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which compromises national security.

In its short affidavit filed in the court earlier, the Centre had said the position on the issue has already been clarified in Parliament by Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: Pegasus row: SC grants more time to Centre for filing response, fixes pleas for hearing on Sept 13

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