The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre on a batch of petitions filed against a December 20 order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs allowing 10 central agencies to monitor any “information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer”, ANI reported. The court has sought Centre’s reply in six weeks.

Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on December 24, seeking to quash the notification. The petition claimed the notification was issued “to find political opponent, thinker and speaker to control entire country under dictatorship to win coming general elections under an undisclosed emergency as well as slavery which cannot be permitted within the Constitution of India”.

Advocate Amit Sahni had also filed a separate petition seeking the dismissal of the government’s notification, calling it “undemocratic and an assault on fundamental rights of the citizens of India”.

After facing criticism from the Opposition for the order, the government clarified that it had not conferred any new powers on any central security or law enforcement agency through the notification. The notification was in accordance with rules framed in 2009, the ministry said.