Pegasus Case: Is the Modi Govt beating about the bush?

Supreme Court admonishes Govt reply, asks if Pegasus software was used to eavesdrop on Opposition members, journalists

The Narendra Modi Government seems to be hesitant in filing a detailed affidavit in response to multiple petitions seeking a formal enquiry into the Pegasus spyware scandal. Though it loudly claims that it has nothing to hide, it has hid behind the bogey of national security and told the Supreme Court that it cannot file a detailed affidavit in response to the multiple please that sought a formal probe.

An annoyed Supreme Court has said it has asked only for a response from the government about allegations that phones of individuals were tapped. The individuals whose phones were allegedly tapped included Opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, prominent industrialist Anil Ambani and journalists, and also critics of the present government.

Pegasus case: What makes govt take such a stance?

It is for the second time that the Supreme Court has admonished the Union Government in this regard. Justice Surya Kant stressed that no one is going to put National Security at risk. The question asked was simple: “Which agency has powers to eavesdrop and whether it authorized or not… There are individuals saying their right to privacy has been violated.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that a detailed statement cannot be issued through an affidavit, since it cannot let terrorists know what software was being used.

All these events clearly point out that the government is hiding something. What the courts have asked is whether Pegasus software was used to eavesdrop on Opposition members and journalists? The top court in the country has clarified that, if the answer is yes, it is a very serious matter.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared on behalf of two of the petitioners – N. Ram, Editor, The Hindu, and the Editors Guild of India, and argued that the episode was about privacy of individuals.

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