Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea against the government notice authorising 10 agencies to intercept computer systems, PTI reported.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice to the government against the controversial order. However, the Supreme Court has not stayed the order.
The order issued on 20 December 2018 allowed the agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.
The 10 agencies authorised are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation; National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi.
While Opposition parties have called the order unconstitutional and against fundamental rights, a home ministry official told PTI that the agencies mentioned in the notification were already empowered to intercept electronic communications since 2011.
The central government has not given “blanket power” to any agency to intercept information from any computer and they have to strictly adhere to the existing rules and stick to the book while carrying out such action, the senior official said.
(With inputs from PTI)