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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Pegasus row: Supreme Court adjourns hearing till September 13 as Centre seeks time

As the matter was taken, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted that there was some difficulty in filing the affidavit as some officers could not be met. He requested for a short adjournment till Thursday, LiveLaw reported

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 7, 2021 12:03:07 pm
The Centre has been accused of using the Israeli Pegasus spyware to target opposition leaders, journalists and others.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned till September 13 the hearing in a batch of cases seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row after the Centre sought more time.

As the matter was taken, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted that there was some difficulty in filing the affidavit as some officers could not be met. He requested for a short adjournment till Thursday, LiveLaw reported

Earlier, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said it will discuss and decide the future course of action, after the government reiterated that the matter had national security implications due to which it did not want to put the details in a public affidavit. It said it would reveal all aspects to a committee of independent experts, who can then submit its report to the Court.

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”.  In its affidavit, the government said its position on the alleged Pegasus snooping has already been clarified in Parliament by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. “A bare perusal of the captioned petition and other connected petitions makes it clear that the same are based on conjectures and surmises or on other unsubstantiated media reports or incomplete or uncorroborated material,” the affidavit said.

On August 10, the top court had taken exception to “parallel proceedings and debates” on social media on the snooping row by some petitioners and said that there must be some discipline and they must have “some faith in the system”.

The apex court is hearing a batch of pleas, including the one filed by the Editors Guild of India, seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

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