Pegasus case in Supreme Court: Pegasus case to be heard in Supreme Court on Monday
The Supreme Court has said that we want to know whether the central government wants to file a detailed affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case. At the same time, the Center has said in its affidavit that there is nothing to hide. In the case of Pegasus espionage, it will set up an expert committee to investigate all issues.
The petitioners allege that the Central Government has been reluctant to answer the questions raised in the case. It should be clearly stated whether the central government or its agency has used Pegasus for espionage. The affidavit filed by the Center on Monday is extremely limited.
Does the Center want to file a detailed affidavit?
During the hearing of the case before a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, the Chief Justice asked whether the Center wanted to file a detailed affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case. The affidavit submitted on Monday was extremely limited. During the hearing, Kapil Sibal, counsel for petitioners N Ram and Shashi Kumar, asked whether the Center should file an affidavit in the case to show whether Pegasus was used for espionage.
Then the Solicitor General on behalf of the Central Government said that if the Government said that it did not use Pegasus for espionage, would the petitioners withdraw their applications? The Chief Justice told the Solicitor General that if you are considering filing a detailed affidavit in this regard, let us know on Tuesday. If the government does not want to file an additional affidavit, we cannot force it.
The case is technical, so expert testing is required: the center
During the hearing on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench of Chief Justice Ramna that the Center has filed an affidavit. The central government will set up an expert committee to look into the issue of espionage. The point is technical. The Center in its affidavit has refuted the allegations of the petitioners and said that the petition is not admissible. The Solicitor General said that while we deny all the allegations of the petitioners, we are not hiding anything. This matter is highly technical and therefore an expert must examine all aspects. The government is very transparent.
The center did not say whether the Pegasus was used for espionage
Petitioner’s counsel Kapil Sibal said that three issues are important. Give an affidavit to the central government that Pegasus spyware has been used for espionage? If the government did not use Pegasus for espionage, our argument would be different. The affidavit filed by the central government does not say whether the government or its agency used Pegasus spyware. The fact that the government has used Pegasus should be denied or accepted. Ask the government to provide an affidavit stating whether Pegasus has been used for espionage.
The matter came to light in 2019, what the government has done since then. The government does not want to respond to the elements. The question is serious, many people have been monitored. The judiciary and the media are important in a democracy and their mobiles have been inserted. Under the IT rules, the Home Secretary should give an affidavit, but in this case the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of IT has filed an affidavit.
If the government says they know nothing, it means that everything is done by outsiders. Israel itself is raiding the Pegasus case and the Indian government is saying that all is well, it is not going down the throat. Rakesh Dwivedi, counsel for the second petitioner, said the allegation was against the government and in such a scenario, people would not trust the expert committee set up by the government.
‘… then will you withdraw the petition?’
The Chief Justice told the Solicitor General that the affidavit you filed was limited and did not detail whether it had been used in the Pegasus espionage case. Let me know if you need time to file a detailed affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case. We will decide on the terms of reference of the expert committee later. The Solicitor General then said the case was sensitive. Fake story is created. The solicitor general said, “I want to ask the question, if the central government says it did not use Pegasus, will the petitioner withdraw the application?” Nothing to hide, the government’s intentions are clear.
The Chief Justice said that we are not against the government. The committee has limitations. The Solicitor General said there would be an independent expert committee if approved by the Supreme Court. Sibal reiterated that the only question we have on behalf of the petitioners is whether we want to know whether the central government has used Pegasus spyware for espionage. The apex court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the case and asked the central government’s solicitor general whether the central government wanted to file an affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case.
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