In Pegasus case, the Supreme Court asked the Center, does the government want to file an affidavit in detail?


New Delhi
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 Pegasus espionage case, it will set up an expert committee to examine all the issues.

The petitioners said that the central government is avoiding answers to the questions raised in this matter. Whether the central government or its agency has used Pegasus for espionage or not, it should be clearly stated. 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 central government 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 the petitioners N Ram and Shashi Kumar, asked whether the central government should file an affidavit in this case to show whether Pegasus was used for espionage or not.

Then the Solicitor General on behalf of the Central Government said that if the government says that it has not used Pegasus for espionage, will the petitioners withdraw their application? The Chief Justice told the Solicitor General that if you are thinking of filing an affidavit in this regard in detail, then let us know on Tuesday. If the government does not want to file an additional affidavit, we cannot force it.

The matter is technical, so expert’s test is needed: Center
During the hearing on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said before the bench of Chief Justice Ramana that the Central Government has filed an affidavit. The central government will form an expert committee to examine the espionage issue. The issue is technical. The Center in its affidavit has denied the allegations of the petitioners and said that the petition is not maintainable. The Solicitor General said that we deny all the allegations of the petitioners, we are not hiding anything. The matter is highly technical and hence it is necessary for an expert to examine all the aspects. The government is very transparent.

Center did not say whether Pegasus was used for spying or not
The petitioner’s counsel Kapil Sibal said that three issues are important. Give an affidavit to the central government whether Pegasus spyware has been used for espionage? If the government didn’t use Pegasus for espionage then our argument would be different. In the affidavit filed by the central government, it did not say whether the government or its agency has used Pegasus spyware or not? Government should deny or accept the fact whether it has used Pegasus or not. Ask the government to give an affidavit whether it has used Pegasus for espionage or not?

This matter was exposed in 2019, since then what has the government done till now. The government does not want to respond to the elements. The question is serious, many people have been monitored. Judiciary and media are important in a democracy and their mobiles have been infiltrated. Under the IT Rules, the Home Secretary should give an affidavit, but in this case the Additional Secretary of the IT Ministry has filed an affidavit.

If the government says that they do not know anything, then it means that everything has been done by outsiders. Israel itself is conducting raids in the Pegasus case and the Indian government is saying that all is well, it does not go down the throat. Rakesh Dwivedi, counsel for the second petitioner, said that the allegation is on the government, so people will not have faith in the expert committee constituted by the government.

‘…then will you withdraw the petition?’
The Chief Justice told the Solicitor General that the affidavit you have filed is limited and there is no detail in the Pegasus espionage case whether it has been used or not. Do let me know if you want time to file a detailed affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case. We will decide later on the scope of the expert committee. The Solicitor General then said that the matter was sensitive. Fake narrative has been created. The Solicitor General said that I want to ask the question that if the central government says that Pegasus is not used, will the petitioner withdraw the application? There is nothing to hide, the intention of the government is clear.

The Chief Justice said that we are not against the government. There are limits to the committee. The Solicitor General said that if the Supreme Court approves, then there will be an independent expert committee. Sibal reiterated that the only question we have on behalf of the petitioners is that we want to know whether the Pegasus spyware has been used by the Central Government for spying or not. The Supreme Court, while postponing the hearing of the matter for Tuesday, has asked the Solicitor General of the Central Government whether the Central Government wants to file an affidavit in the Pegasus espionage case.

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