Pegasus row: Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas moves SC seeking SIT probetext_fields
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas on Saturday sought the monitoring of the Supreme Court for the SIT probe into the Pegasus snooping scandal.
Though the NSO group claims that the spyware is designed to be used in cases of terrorist activity, the Indian government is accused of using it to spy on opposition party leaders, human rights activists, journalists, and businessmen.
In his Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petiton, Brittas quoted The Wire and said that one of the numbers was registered in the name of a sitting Supreme Court judge. He added that it shows the "interfering with the administration of justice and is unprecedented and shocking", reported NDTV.
He pointed out that the government has neither accepted nor denied whether the spyware was bought and used by its agencies. He also noted that the taxpayers' money was spent by the ruling party for its personal and political interests and it should not be allowed.
The Wire is one of the 16 international media that leaked a database of Pegasus in association with Paris-based media non-profit Forbidden Stories and human rights NGO Amnesty International.
Meanwhile, the new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw called the report a "sensational story". He added that it was "no coincidence" that the news broke a day before the parliament's monsoon session started.
The Centre released a statement saying that there has been no unauthorised interception by its agencies, adding that allegations regarding government surveillance on specific people have no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever.
Over 300 Indian phone numbers were found on the list of potential targets of Israeli spyware Pegasus. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, two sitting union ministers, a former Election Commissioner, family members of Mehbooba Mufti and Delhi-based Kashmiri journalists were among those who found traces of spyware in their phones.