Pegasus Row: No clear denial by Centre on use of spyware, says Supreme Court; forms 3-member probe panel
The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed an expert committee to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software
The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed an expert committee to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using the Pegasus software. A three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said the functioning of the committee would be oversees by the Supreme Court.
The three-member committee will be headed by RV Raveendran, former Supreme Court Judge. Other members will be Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi.
The Centre had argued that disclosing the details on the use of Pegasus spyware involves national security issues, as it refused to divulge any details.
The top court, in its judgment, said mere raising national security by state would not stop it from taking up the issue, and emphasized that national security can't be a bug bear and refused to accept the omnibus denial by the Centre. The bench noted that the Centre filed a limited affidavit, which didn't make anything clear despite it repeatedly saying that the court is not concerned with issues of national security.
The bench emphasized, "We live in the era of information. We must recognise that while technology is important, it is important to safeguard the right to privacy." It further added, "not only journalists, etc., but privacy is important for all citizens."
The bench noted that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that many petitions were self-service, but it cannot accept such omnibus contention.
"Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator," noted the bench also comprising justice Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.
The matter will be taken up after 8 weeks
Published: 27 Oct 2021, 11:13 AM