Rejecting the Central government's request for setting up a committee to probe the Pegasus snooping allegations, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday set a three-member committee to investigate the charges.
The committee set by the SC will be headed by retired top court judge Justice R.V. Raveendran who will be assisted by Dr Sundeep Oberoi and Alok Joshi, former IPS officer.
The Centre had put forth arguments stating that the details on the use the spyware could involve matters of national security.
The top court, in its judgment, said mere raising national security by state would not stop it from taking up the issue, and emphasized that national security can't be a bug bear and refused to accept the omnibus denial by the Centre. The bench noted that the Centre filed a limited affidavit, which didn't make anything clear despite it repeatedly saying that the court is not concerned with issues of national security.
The bench emphasized, "We live in the era of information. We must recognise that while technology is important, it is important to safeguard the right to privacy." It further added, "not only journalists, etc., but privacy is important for all citizens."
The bench noted that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that many petitions were self-service, but it cannot accept such omnibus contention.
"Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator," noted the bench also comprising justice Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.
The matter will be taken up after 8 weeks