The Pegasus case was heard in the Supreme Court on Monday. In the hearing, the central government made it clear that it is not going to file an affidavit on this matter. Explaining the reason for this, the Center said that affidavit cannot be filed in such cases. But she has agreed to set up a panel to probe the allegations of espionage. For now, the court has reserved the decision. Order will be given on this in the next 2-3 days.
During the hearing in the court, Chief Justice Ramana also showed strictness. He said that the court wants to know what the government is doing on this matter. In fact, in the earlier hearing, the central government had twice taken time to file the affidavit, but now it has refused outright.
At the end of the hearing, the Supreme Court reserved the decision. It was said that a decision will be taken on whether a SIT will be formed or a judicial inquiry will be held in the Pegasus espionage case. A decision will be taken on this in the next two-three days. The court also asked the central government that they should reconsider filing the affidavit.
Center said – this is not a matter of public domain
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the government said that whether any particular software was used for espionage or not, it is not a matter of public domain. The matter can be examined by a committee of independent domain experts and can be filed in the Supreme Court.
Court expressed displeasure
The Supreme Court expressed displeasure with the central government on the Pegasus issue. CJI Ramana said that you are going back to the same thing again and again. We want to know what the government is doing. On the public domain argument, the court said that we are not going into the issues of national interest. Our limited concern is about the people. When the central government talked about forming a committee, the Supreme Court said that the appointment of the committee is not an issue. Rather, the purpose of the affidavit is to know where you (government) stand.
Sibal said – Pegasus was used illegally
Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner journalist N Ram in the court, said that it is the responsibility of the government to respond as it is the duty of the government to protect the privacy of citizens. He said that such use of spyware is completely illegal. Sibal said that if the government now says that it will not file the affidavit, then it should be considered that Pegasus is being used illegally.
It was further said on behalf of Sibal that the petitioner N Ram does not want to harm the national security but wants to know whether Pegasus was used or not. Sibal further asked the government why they did not take action against Pegasus after the news, why the FIR was not registered. Sibal said, ‘If common citizens are spied on, then it is a serious issue.’
Sibal said – the government did not deny, meaning Pegasus was used
Sibal further said, “The petitioners have stated that their privacy has been affected, their equipment has been targeted and the government is now saying that it does not want to file the affidavit.” International agencies have accepted the fact that Indians were targeted. Experts have said that the phones of Indians have been hacked. He has no prejudice towards India. Yesterday Germany also accepted it but the Indian government is not ready to accept it. The fact is that they (Government of India) have not denied it. It clearly means that they have used it.