Snooping order: SC refuses urgent hearing

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, asked him if he had deposited the cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on him last month for filing a PIL against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to urgently consider a PIL for quashing the December 20 notification allowing ten government agencies to intercept or decrypt any data or information from the computer of citizens.

Advocate M L Sharma, who filed the PIL, made a sensational claim before the top court that the telephone and computer of family members of even judges are under surveillance.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, asked him if he had deposited the cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on him last month for filing a PIL against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

As the advocate said he had already deposited, the court said his PIL would be processed and listed in due course.

The PIL filed by Sharma apprehended that the notification would allow the government to control or jail citizens if found containing certain information in opposition to its views. He claimed it would amount to "dictatorship" and "slavery".

"The impugned order has been issued to find political opponents, thinkers and speakers to control the entire country under the dictatorship to win coming general elections through an undeclared emergency, which can't be permitted under the Constitution," his petition stated.

The petitioner stated that the notification  -- a blanket surveillance order --  must be tested on the principle of right to privacy as a fundamental right declared by the nine-judge Constitution bench.

Besides, seeking quashing of the notification, the petitioner also urged the top court to prohibit the government agencies from taking any action under it.

The notification led the opposition parties to claim that it would lead to a surveillance state and snooping into the citizens' personal affairs.

Advocate Sharma also filed a PIL in the Rafale deal, which was dismissed by the top court.

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Snooping order: SC refuses urgent hearing

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