Centre’s Denial not sufficient, Probe needed: SC on Pegasus Case

Sanika Deshpande –

Published On: October 27, 2021 at 14:52 IST

The Supreme Court of India on October 27th appointed expert committee to look into the allegations of Pegasus Software which has unauthorised surveillance.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana which Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said that functioning of the committee will be overseas by the Apex Court.

“The state cannot get free pass everytime by raising national security concerns. No omnibus prohibition can be called against judicial review. Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator,” the bench was quoted.

The Supreme Court’s observations were as follows:

  1. The Court said that there has been no denial by the Centre as such in the issue so the Court is left with no choice but to accept submissions of petitioner.
  2. SC said it’ll need to examine the Right to Privacy.
  3. “There is serious concern of foreign agency involvement by surveilling Indians,” the court said.
  4. To discover the truth in the Pegasus row, the Committee has been formed.
  5. The Committee has chosen renowned experts who will be part of the three member committee.
  6. The committee will be headed by RV Raveendran, former Supreme Court Judge. Other members will be Alok Joshi and Sandeep Oberoi.
  7. The Court added that earlier when the petitions were filed the Court wasn’t satisfied with the petitions which were based on newspaper reports. Later, other petitions were filed by the direct victims
  8. The Court stated that it gave ample opportunity to the Centre to assist the Court but it’s limited affidavit did not help the Court about the issue.
  9. Government of India cannot be given free pass by raising National Security concerns and Court cannot mute itself when there are serious allegations of violations of the citizen’s right.
  10. The Supreme Court asked the committee to place the report before the Court and post the hearing after 8 weeks once the allegations are examined thoroughly.

To read the Order: main.sc.gov.in

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