FPJ Legal: Refrain from 'parallel debate on social media' about Pegasus row, says Supreme Court; sets hearing for August 16

FPJ Legal: Refrain from 'parallel debate on social media' about Pegasus row, says Supreme Court; sets hearing for August 16

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 12:08 PM IST
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The Supreme Court of India | File Photo - ANI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that petitioners who are seeking a probe into the Pegasus snooping row should "have faith in the system". The top court emphasised those who filed PILs on the issue, are not expected to run a "parallel debate on social media platforms or Twitter". "Once you approach the court, have a proper debate here," the court said.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Vineet Sarana and Surya Kant told the senior advocates representing various petitioners, "Have some faith in the system, parallel proceedings or parallel debate should not be there on Twitter or social media."

The bench emphasised that petitioners must have faith in the system and process of adjudication by the court. The bench said: "There must be some discipline. We asked some questions. There is an adjudication process. Sometimes it may be inconvenient to you. That's how this process is. Both sides have to face the music".

The bench added if petitioners want to bring something to our notice, they should file that here. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing journalist N. Ram, said last time there were statements about his client's statements about the California court. Chief justice said it was taken out of context, but debates must not cross the limits. "If they are using the system, they should have faith in the system", he reiterated. The top court stressed that the debate has to be within the courtroom and not outside.

The top court has adjourned the hearing in the matter till August 16. Solicitor Mehta Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, sought time till Friday to seek instructions in the matter.

Last week the Supreme Court, in its first hearing of a clutch of petitions asking for investigations into the Pegasus scandal, said allegations the spyware being used to target opposition leaders, journalists and others are "serious if newspaper reports are correct".

The Supreme Court had asked the petitioners, including Editors Guild of India and senior journalist N Ram, to serve the copies of the pleas seeking probe into the Israeli spyware matter to the Centre so that somebody from the government is present to accept the notice.

The court is hearing nine petitions, including those filed by the Editors Guild and senior journalists seeking an independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter.

The pleas relate 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.

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