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SC Grants More Time To Centre To Respond On Pegasus Issue

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 07, Sep 2021, 18:06 pm IST | UPDATED: 07, Sep 2021, 18:13 pm IST

SC Grants More Time To Centre To Respond On Pegasus Issue

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing to September 13 on pleas seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter. The apex court has decided to grant some extra time to the government to file its response on the matter.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana had issued a notice to the Centre on the pleas on August 17, while making it clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which compromises national security, reported PTI.

As  the court began the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre asked for some more time from the bench saying "due to some difficulties, the affidavit,  could not be filed and sought listing of the case either on Thursday or Monday."

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for senior journalist N Ram, said that he does not have any objection to the request.

The court is hearing as many as 12 pleas, including the one filed by the Editors Guild of India, seeking an independent probe into the matter.

They are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus.

Last month, the Centre had filed a brief affidavit, “unequivocally” denying all allegations made by the petitioners and stating that it “will constitute a Committee of Experts in the field which will go into all aspects of the issue” in order “to dispel any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests”

The affadavit also stated that Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav had already addressed the issue during the Parliament Monsoon session and the Centre has given its response. 

After this, the top court had sought a written response from the Centre instead of “parallel proceedings and debates” on social media.

An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.

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