Pegasus row: CJI says Supreme Court setting up technical committee to probe snooping allegations, order likely next week

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September 23, 2021 12:39 PM

CJI Ramana told a Senior Advocate that there were some delays in the order since some of the members had expressed their inability to join the probe committee.

The Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case on September 13. (File)

The Supreme Court of India today said that it will pass orders in the Pegasus snooping row next week and will also set up a technical committee to probe the allegations. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, while hearing another case, informed that the court will soon finalise the list of members who will be a part of the committee and the order will be out next week.

CJI Ramana told a Senior Advocate that there were some delays in the order since some of the members had expressed their inability to join the probe committee owing to personal reasons. The lawyer is a part of the petitioners who had approached the apex court against the Pegasus snooping row. Notably, the Centre had offered to set up an independent committe to probe the allegations in the last hearing.

The Supreme Court has been hearing several petitions which have urged the court to order an inquiry into the snooping allegations using the Israeli spyware Pegasus prepared by the NSO group. A media report had revealed that the spyware was used to snoop on opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, businessmen, journalists and other prominent personalities which included Judges and central ministers as well.

The Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case on September 13 after the Centre had filed its response saying that while it had nothing to hide, it won’t file a detailed affidavit owing to national security. However, the Centre has agreed to form a technical committee to examine the allegations citing the seriousness of the allegations.

The Centre’s response had irked the Chief Justice who said that the court does not want to know about national security but about the allegations that some citizens’ phones were tapped. The petitioners had contended that a committee constituted by the central government cannot be expected to function in a fair and unbiased manner.

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