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CPI MP Binoy Viswam (File Photo)
CPI MP Binoy Viswam (File Photo)

CPI's Viswam moves privilege motion over Pegasus issue against Ashwini Vaishnaw in RS

By Amit Kumar | Updated: Jan 31, 2022 11:52 IST

New Delhi [India], January 31 (ANI): Communist Party of India Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam on Monday moved a privilege motion notice against Union Minister of Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw for his statements on the floor of the House regarding Pegasus, in light of the recent report by a US-based newspaper.
Sources told ANI that in his notice to the Secretary General of Rajya Sabha the CPI MP said, "Despite the Government's repeated attempts at hiding the truth, numerous pieces of evidence have been made public that point towards the Government's purchase of Pegasus spyware."
"The report is the latest on the list. As a matter concerning grave allegations of snooping that violate Constitutional rights and safeguards, the Minister's deliberate attempt to mislead the Members of Parliament constitutes a breach of privilege" Viswam's notice further stated.
Yesterday, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and demanded that a privilege motion be initiated against Union Minister of Information Technology for "deliberately misleading the House on Pegasus issue".
Notably, after the US newspaper report regarding the alleged Pegasus spyware purchase deal surfaced, lawyer ML Sharma moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to register FIR and probe the matter.
The petition said the alleged India-Israel deal was not approved by Parliament and, therefore, needs to be cancelled and money recovered.
In July 2021, names of several Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and over 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to a report published in The Wire.
However, the Union IT Minister had said there is 'no substance' in the media report regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp, adding that the report was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions. (ANI)