The Centre, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it does not wish to file a detailed affidavit in a batch of petitions seeking probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping row.
The Solicitor General argued that if he asserts that the government is not using the software, it will alert terror groups about the capabilities of the government. Whereas, if the government announces that it is making use of the controversial software, terror groups may take preemptive actions by using software to counter the controversial software.
The Solicitor General also submitted that interception is not per se prohibited by law and that the fact whether the government uses software A or software B for the purpose, cannot be made public through an affidavit.
The Government has filed an affidavit stating that it is ready to constitute a committee of domain experts to look into the allegations and that the report of the committee will be placed before the Court. Tushar Mehta also clarified that the committee will not have any members who have any relation with the government. The government had also stated in its limited affidavit that its position on the issue has already been clarified in Parliament by Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli reserved the matters for interim order and told the Solicitor General that if the government re-thinks about filing a detailed affidavit in the case, he can mention the matter before it.