The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit on a batch of petitions seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row, while the top court said it would pass an interim order on the issue.
“We are reserving order. We will pass some interim orders. It will take two-three days. If you have some re-thinking on this, you can mention the matter before us,” the bench, also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, told the law officer.
“You (Solicitor General) have repeatedly been saying that the Government does not want to file an affidavit. We also do not 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 said, adding, “Mehta, you have been beating around the bush and that is not the question here.” During the hearing, Mehta told the bench that the government does not wish to file a detailed affidavit in the matter as the issue of whether particular software is used or not by the government is not a matter for public discussion and making this a part of an affidavit will not be in the national interest.
He said the government has “nothing to hide” and that is why the Centre has on its own said that it will constitute a committee of domain experts who will look into these allegations.
Mehta told the bench that report of the committee of domain experts will be made available to the apex court. The top court told Mehta that it had already made clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which compromises national security.