During the hearing of a petition seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus espionage case, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the central government asking it to file a reply. Earlier, the central government said that the affidavit filed by it was sufficient. This matter is related to National Security and facts cannot be disclosed in the affidavit in the matter.
Center said – the affidavit given is enough
During the hearing held on Tuesday before a bench headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice NV Ramana, the counsel for the petitioner said that we are not asking for disclosure of facts related to national security, but we want to know whether Pegasus is being used by the government. for surveillance or not? In the affidavit filed by the central government, it is refraining from replying. On Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the central government whether it wanted to file a detailed affidavit in the matter. The Solicitor General on behalf of the Central Government said on Tuesday that the affidavit submitted by the Central Government is sufficient. No additional affidavit is required in this matter.
Center told a matter related to national security
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that if the government discloses in the affidavit which software it uses and which it does not, then those involved in terrorist activities will try to escape from it. Therefore, the matter cannot be brought up in public debate. This matter is related to national security. The terrorist organization will change its equipment and modules if it gets information, the Solicitor General said that the petitioners want the government to tell which software is not used and whose is. It must be said that if it is falsely spread that military equipment is being used illegally and a petition is filed in this regard, can a reply be sought regarding the information regarding the use of military equipment? The Solicitor General said that if the sleeper cell of a terrorist organization uses any device and the government says that it uses any software for surveillance, then that terrorist organization will change its equipment or change its module. If the government tells whether Pegasus is used or not, then it will help the terrorists because they will break it. To this, Sibal said that we are asking not to disclose information related to national security. We just want to know whether the government approved the use of Pegasus. Did the government use Pegasus or not?
What is the problem in giving affidavit: Supreme Court
The Solicitor General said that we are not trying to hide anything from the court. The Solicitor General said that the government will present the complete details before the proposed expert committee which has been asked to be constituted, but cannot give it for public debate. We don’t have anything to hide. But this matter is related to national security. On this, the Supreme Court said that we as a court would never want that national security should be compromised. But here it is alleged that some people’s mobiles were hacked and surveillance was done. This can also be done with the permission of the Competent Authority. What is the problem that the Competent Authority should present an affidavit in this regard before us. The Competent Authority should decide under the rules to what extent the information can be made public. The Supreme Court made it clear that we do not want the government to make public information related to national security.
‘We will see whether expert committee is needed or not’
The Chief Justice’s Bench said that we were thinking that the answer of the Central Government would come in detail in this matter but the answer was limited. We issue notice to the Central Government in this matter. The matter will be heard after 10 days. In the meantime we will see and think what can be done. Will there be course of action or will decide. Whether there is a need for an expert committee or any other committee, we will see what to do. We issue notice to the central government.
[Attribution to NBT]