New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday September 23 indicated that it may set up a technical committee to probe the allegations of snooping by using the Pegasus spyware on journalists, activists etc.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana orally told senior advocate C.U. Singh, who is appearing for one of the petitioners in Pegasus matter, that some experts have expressed their inability to join the probe due to personal reasons and an order on the committee is expected next week.
Justice Ramana said that court wanted to pass orders this week, however, the orders were deferred as some members, who the court had wanted to be part of the technical committee, had expressed personal difficulties to be on the committee. “That is why it is taking time to constitute the technical expert committee,” he said, and further added that the court will finalise the members of the technical committee soon.
The Centre had already proposed to constitute an expert panel, comprising of independent members, to examine the snooping allegations. Centre said this committee can submit its report to the top court.
On September 13, the Centre had told the Supreme Court it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit now clarifying whether Pegasus spyware was used or not, in its response to a batch of petitions seeking independent probe into the alleged snooping.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, had submitted before the top court that the government will disclose all details in connection with the Pegasus case before a panel of domain experts but not on an affidavit for national security reasons. Mehta emphasized that there are terror organizations, which better not know which software is used to combat terror etc. “It has its own pitfalls”, he added.