New Delhi: The Centre on Monday rejected the Supreme Court order to file a detailed affidavit on petitions seeking an inquiry into the use of Pegasus spyware.
Rather, it would form a committee of experts to look into charges put upon them, the Centre said to a Bench headed by Chief justice N.V. Ramana.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Apex Court, “It is not a matter of public discussion whether government used a particular software or not and revealing this information as part of an affidavit will be against national interest.”
“The report of our new committee will be placed before the apex court.” added SC.
Mr. Mehra said to the court that it had already been made clear that the government didn’t wish to disclose anything that would threaten national security.
Reacting to the Centre’s decision, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana stated, “We reserve orders. This is for interim orders. you are given two-three days, if you do any rethink, you can inform the court.”
Meanwhile, Advocate, Kapil Sibal, appearing for Journalist N Ram, stated, “It is the duty of the Centre to provide all information to the court. To uphold the fundamental rights both government and petitioners have to be the eyes and ears of the court.”
Questioning about the Centre’s refusal, Sibal said that why Centre is refusing to say whether they used the Pegasus spyware or not, telling that will not threaten the national security.
“If the software is being used by Centre and target was ordinary citizen then then it’s a serious concern” added Sibal.
Further, Sibal added, “It’s very sad to hear that the Government of India refused SC’s order to give information. Already, they have accepted in parliament that they used the spyware but why they have not taken any action since 2019?”
Earlier, on September 7, a Bench headed by CJI N.V. Ramana granted more time to the Centre to decide if they intended to file any additional affidavit in the matter.