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Pegasus issue: Snooping is violation of fundamental rights; govt hasn't cared to investigate, says CPI-M MP

ANI | Updated: Jul 25, 2021 10:02 IST

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): Communist Marxist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas said snooping of activists, politicians, journalists and Constitutional functionaries by the Israeli spyware Pegasus is a violation of fundamental rights while alleging that government has not cared to investigate the issue.
Brittas has approached the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into reports of the government using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists, and journalists.
The petition said that despite the very serious nature of the allegations, the government has not cared to investigate the issue.
"In such circumstances, the petitioner is constrained to approach the Supreme Court as the issue involves citizens' fundamental right to privacy and gross abuse of the state's surveillance powers," stated the plea.

He said the Government needs to appraise the reasons for the interceptions made to the gadgets of its own ministers, staff, Constitutional authorities including Election Commissioners and judges, CBI officers, Supreme Court staffer, activists, scientists and journalists.
Brittas said that the Pegasus spyware allegations give two inferences - it was done by the Indian Government or by a foreign agency.
"If it is done by the Indian Government it is done in an unauthorised manner. The spending of sovereign amount for personal and political interests of the ruling party cannot be permitted. If snooping is done by some foreign agency, it is an act of external aggression which also needs to be dealt with in a serious manner," he added.
He further alleged the interception of phones of activists and journalists give a strong message that the Government is giving least regard for fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Opposition has alleged that names of several Indian politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists have appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware. This comes following reports published in The Wire. (ANI)