West Bengal has reportedly formed a two-member inquiry commission to look into the Pegasus Project. According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, this panel will investigate surveillance scandal where the spy software Pegasus was allegedly used to snoop on about 300 Indians including politicians, journalists, and human rights activists using the Israeli spyware Pegasus. The Commission consists of the former Supreme Court judge Madan Bhimrao Lokur, and former Calcutta High Court Chief Justice, Jyotirmay Bhattacharya.
The Indian Express quoted her saying, “We thought the Centre would form an inquiry commission or a court-monitored probe would be ordered to look into this phone-hacking incident. But the Centre is sitting idle…So we decided to form a commission of inquiry to look into the matter.” She added, “Names of people from West Bengal have figured on the Pegasus target list. The Centre is trying to snoop on everyone. The commission will find out details about this illegal hacking.”
As per some media reports, Banerjee had also urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of this Pegasus spyware row, and had asked all opposition parties to form a united front against the central government without any delay.
Her nephew and Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee, has also appeared on a list of potential surveillance targets, as reported by The Wire. West Bengal is the first state to have formed such a committee to investigate this hacking scandal.
John Brittas, a Rajya Sabha Member has also moved the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into reports of alleged snooping.
Rajya Sabha member John Brittas has moved the #SupremeCourt seeking a court-monitored probe into reports of alleged snooping of activists, politicians, journalists and constitutional functionaries using Israeli spyware #Pegasus.https://t.co/YfGT7E5ubZ
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) July 25, 2021