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Pegasus row: will authorise commitee of experts, Centre tells SC

Pegasus row: will authorise commitee of experts, Centre tells SC

New Delhi: The centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that the government has "nothing to hide" on the Pegasus snooping allegations and the expert committee may go into whether Pegasus was used or not and also all other aspects.

In a two-page affidavit submitted in the top court that with a view to dispel any wrong narrative spread by certain vested interests and with an object of examining the issues raised, it will constitute "a committee of experts in the field which will go into all aspects of the issue".

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V Ramana that the top court may lay down the terms of reference of the committee. "We have nothing to hide," said Mehta.

The Chief Justice said, "We are not saying anything against the government. That is not the issue." He added that there are areas which the committee can go into while some they can't, and further queried Mehta that 'how will the committee examine the aspect of procurement of Pegasus?'.

Meanwhile, Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing journalist N. Ram, argued that the government should say whether it used Pegasus or not. "That will not reveal any national security issue", said Sibal.

The top court is hearing a batch of petitions seeking various directions, which includes an SIT probe, a judicial inquiry and directions to the government to reveal details about whether it had used the Pegasus software to spy on citizens.

The apex court will continue to hear the matter on Tuesday.

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