New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would be setting up a technical expert committee to inquire into the Pegasus snooping matter. The top court will pass an order on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the issue next week. A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said the order, which was to be pronounced earlier, will now be delivered next week.Also Read - Apple Releases iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8 with Security Updates To Fight Pegasus Spyware and Major Security Loopholes

“We will be able to finalise the members of technical expert team by next week and then pronounce our orders, said the bench. Also Read - Pegasus Row: SC Issues Notice To Centre, Says Govt Need Not Disclose Anything Which Compromises National Security

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. Also Read - Pegasus Snooping Row: Petitions Seeking Probe Based On 'Conjectures And Surmises', Says Centre to SC

The top court 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.

(With PTI inputs)