The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will pass an order next week on pleas seeking independent probe into Pegasus snooping matter. The apex court wants to set up a committee to inquire into the row. The court, however, observed that experts that it wanted to appoint to the committee wouldn’t be able participate, citing personal reasons.
"We wanted to pass an order on the matter before this week... but some members we thought of considering for the committee... for personal reasons they refused to be part of this committee. Hence the delay," Chief Justice Ramana said.
"We will be able to finalise the members of the Technical Expert Team by next week and pronounce orders," he said.
The observation assumes significance as the Centre had earlier offered to set up an expert panel on its own to look into the grievances of alleged snooping on phones.
The top court had on September 13 had reserved its order, saying it only wanted to know whether or not the Centre used the Pegasus spyware through illegal methods to allegedly snoop on citizens. The Centre had stoutly refused to file an affidavit citing national security on pleas seeking an independent probe into the snooping row.
The pleas seeking an independent probe are related to reports of alleged snooping by government agencies on eminent citizens, politicians and scribes by using Israeli firm NSO's spyware Pegasus. An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on the list of potential targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware.