Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on October 27 termed as a "big step" the Supreme Court appointing a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of certain people, and expressed confidence that truth would come out.
Asserting that alleged snooping using Pegasus is an "attempt to crush Indian democracy", Mr. Gandhi said it is a "big step that the Supreme Court has said that they are going to look into this matter. I am confident that we will get the truth out of this".
“Pegasus spyware was ordered either by Prime Minister or the Home Minister,” Mr. Gandhi said. “If the PM has done this, we would like to know why is the PM doing an illegal act,” he asked, adding that “Using of Pegasus is illegal in India. Prime Minister is not above the Law.”
"We were asking three basic questions — who authorised Pegasus, which agency, which person authorised Pegasus as we all know Pegasus cannot be bought by a private individual, it has to be bought by a government; second question was who was it used against; final thing was, did any other country have access to information of our people," the former Congress chief said.
“If the data of Election Commission or Opposition leaders' data is going to PM, it is a criminal act. If you are using it to tackle terrorism, then it is a different thing. But using data for PM's personal use is a totally criminal thing,” Mr. Gandhi said.
“Governments have been dropped, for example in Karnataka, using Pegasus,” he noted.
“The government was attacking national security. If the data of our Election Commission, Opposition leaders or Chief Ministers are held outside India, they are attacking national security,” Mr. Gandhi noted.
Mr. Gandhi said it is not a political matter but an existential matter. "And this is one of the reasons why you see a muted Opposition," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)