Supreme Court to set up expert panel to probe Pegasus row; order expected next week

CJI NV Ramana says he wanted to pass an order this week but couldn't as some of the experts recused due to personal reasons

Supreme Court to set up expert panel to probe Pegasus row; order expected next week

Photo for representation purposes. iStock

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 23

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would set up an expert committee to probe into the allegations that politicians, journalists and activists were snooped on using Pegasus spyware.

A Bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana -- which had on September 13 reserved its order on petitions seeking an SIT probe into the allegations -- said a detailed order to set up the committee could be expected next week.

The court wanted to pass an order this week but it couldn’t as some of the experts it had in mind for the committee didn’t want to participate due to personal reasons, CJI Ramana told senior advocate CU Singh, who represented some of the petitioners in the case.

The Supreme Court had on September 13 said it would pass an interim order on petitions seeking a court-monitored SIT probe into the alleged snooping.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said the government didn’t want to file any additional affidavit to publicly clarify if Pegasus spyware was used for snooping or not even if he maintained that the Centre had nothing to hide.

“You have repeatedly been saying that the government doesn’t want to file an affidavit. We also don’t want any security issues to be put before us. You say that a committee will be formed and the report will be submitted...We have to look into the whole issue and pass an interim order,” the Bench had said.

It had said the government was beating around the bush on the issue.

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