New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to Centre on a petition filed against its controversial order allowing ten central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt computer systems.
Allowing the petition against the Centre's order, the Supreme Court gave six weeks to the government to file its response.
The plea, filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, termed the notification "illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires to the law", news agency PTI reported. He also sought to prohibit the agencies from initiating any criminal proceedings, enquiry or investigation against anybody under the provisions of the IT Act based on the notification.
Ten central agencies have been equipped with powers of "interception, monitoring and decryption of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer," stated an order signed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba in December last year.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba issued the order enabling 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 and Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi to snoop on any computer device.
The Home Ministry gave the authorisation under 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which says that centre can direct any agency after it is satisfied that “it is necessary or expedient to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence”.
Under the section, the subscriber or intermediary or any person who fails to assist the agency will face seven-year imprisonment and will also be liable to fine....