In a major development amid the Pegasus Snoopgate row, the Parliamentary Committee has decided to hold a meeting on July 28. The Parliamentary Committee led by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will hold the meeting on the subject of 'Citizens data security and privacy'. The meeting will also be attended by officials from the Ministry of Information Technology and Home Ministry.
This comes as the opposition steps up ante over the row that has picked up pace even during the Parliament's Monsoon Session. Ever since the Monsoon Session began, the opposition had caused an uproar in both Houses demanding a probe into the alleged privacy breach that was unearthed by the Pegasus Project. The opposition parties have therefore sought a joint parliamentary committee probe into the matter. However, the government has constantly denied the spying allegations and hit back by saying that it surfaced a day before the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
The Shiv Sena has slammed the Centre over the Pegasus row and demanded answers. In its mouthpiece, Saamna, Shiv Sena has listed all the Opposition leaders, journalists, activists, courts and ministers who were allegedly spied upon. Sena added that 'All four pillars of democracy attacked'.
"Pegasus was used to spy upon select Indians and could not have happened without the Centre's approval. The main question is Who purchased Pegasus in India to spy on dissenters and political opponents?," Sena added
The Centre has denied all allegations of spying on over 300 citizens, including 40 journalists via Israeli spyware Pegasus. The Centre had issued a rebuttal. Highlighting the Personal Data Protection Bill (2019) currently in the works, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) asserted that India was committed to free speech. The Centre added that the questionnaire sent to Centre was 'founded on pre-conceived notions', MeitY pointed out that Centre's RTI response to the use of Pegasus was itself sufficient.