The Supreme Court decision to set up an expert committee to go into the alleged use of Pegasus snooping in India is a slap in the face of the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah dispensation ruling the country. The government had gone all out to throttle any disclosure of the use of Pegasus to target the phones of Indian citizens including journalists, politicians and judicial officers.
Parliament could not function effectively during the last session on account of the government’s refusal to come clean on the use of Pegasus for snooping on Indian citizens. The blame for the disruption of parliamentary proceedings on the issue squarely lies with the government. Of course, the government has been blaming the Congress and other opposition parties for the disruption.
During the Parliament session as well as during the Supreme Court proceedings, the government steadfastly refused to answer the simple question whether or not, it had purchased the Pegasus software to snoop on Indian citizens. The question of legitimacy of use of the snooping software comes later. At the most, the government had informed the apex court that it is prepared to set up a committee of its choosing to go into the matter. The Supreme Court decision to set up its own committee of experts is a definite setback for the ruling dispensation. Hopefully, the government will now cooperate with the committee, whose members are expected to be announced by the apex court next week. Hope lies eternal though the track record of this dispensation creates doubts.