TMC hails SC order on Pegasus, says Modi govt not above law

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 27-10-2021 21:04 IST | Created: 27-10-2021 21:01 IST
TMC hails SC order on Pegasus, says Modi govt not above law
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
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The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court's order appointing a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations and said the Narendra Modi government should realise that it is not above the law.

The BJP-led central government had always rejected opposition parties' demands for a discussion on the Pegasus controversy in Parliament and an investigation on the issue, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

''We hail the Supreme Court order,'' he said at a press conference.

Another senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said the Modi government owed an explanation to the people of the country on the snooping issue.

''The Modi government should realise that it is not above the law.... Any attempt to spy on an individual - where he goes, what he says, whom he meets, what he does at home - is tantamount to blatant intrusion into his own space, an infringement of his freedom,'' he said at another programme.

The state BJP said the judiciary has always been given the highest respect and priority by the Modi government and the TMC is unnecessarily triggering controversy over the apex court order.

''The Narendra Modi government always worked in a transparent manner and respected law unlike the TMC government in West Bengal. The Centre will go by the honourable Supreme Court order,'' BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said.

BJP state president Sukanta Majumder told reporters that there should also be investigations into the allegations of telephone surveillance of political leaders, bureaucrats and journalists by the Mamata Banerjee government.

Opposition parties had disrupted Parliament proceedings during the last monsoon session with vociferous protests over the Pegasus issue after an international investigative consortium claimed that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen and journalists were potentially targeted by the Israeli company NSO Group's phone hacking software.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe the alleged use of Pegasus for surveillance of certain people in India, saying every citizen needs protection against privacy violation and mere invocation of "national security by State" does not render the court a "mute spectator".

Finding material that "prima facie merits consideration", a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli declined the Centre's plea to appoint an expert panel on its own, saying such a course would violate the settled judicial principle against bias.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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