The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on a batch of petitions seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the court will pass an interim order in the next few days and told the Centre that beating around the bush would not take the issue anywhere.
The Centre has refused to file a detailed affidavit clarifying whether Pegasus spyware was used or not,
“Beating around the bush…we will pass some interim order,” the chief justice told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre.
The Centre informed the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli that it is not going to file a detailed affidavit on a batch of petitions seeking inquiry into alleged use of spyware Pegasus.
Mehta submitted that government can constitute a technical committee of independent domain experts, who can examine the petitioners’ allegations that their phones were affected by Pegasus.
The Centre said this committee can submit its report to the top court.
A battery of senior advocates — Kapil Sibal, Rakesh Dwivedi, Dinesh Dwivedi, Shyam Divan and Meenakshi Arora –representing various petitioners objected to the Centre’s stand on the matter.
Sibal, representing veteran journalist N. Ram, said the government should clarify whether it used Pegasus or not?
Sibal added that it is unbelievable that the government said it would not tell the court about the use of spyware.
“We thought government will file a counter affidavit. We are considering some interim order or some other order, we have to pass,” the bench noted during the hearing.
The Chief Justice clarified that the court is also not keen on government disclosing any information which compromises the national security. The bench noted that if government were to file an affidavit, then it would have known “where do we stand on the subject”.