Grave attack on right to privacy: Priyanka on phone tapping

New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday took a jibe at the Narendra Modi government over the alleged phone tapping issue, saying the Pegasus revelations are abhorrent and if true, the government seems to have launched a grave and sinister attack on right to privacy.

In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi said, “The Pegasus revelations are abhorrent. If true, the Modi government seems to have launched a grave and sinister attack on the Right to Privacy – constitutionally guaranteed to Indian citizens as a Fundamental Right. This is an affront to democracy and has ominous implications for our freedoms.”

Her remarks came a day after The Wire reported that over 40 journalists, three major opposition figures, one constitutional authority, two serving ministers in the Narendra Modi government, current and former heads and officials of security organisations and scores of business persons were in the snooping database.

Among the numbers in the Pegasus Project database is one that was registered in the name of a sitting Supreme Court judge. However, The Wire has not been able to confirm whether the number, which the judge gave up before it was added to the list, was still being used by him for WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging apps when the number was selected.

“Until such time as we are able to establish the number’s actual user during the period in question, we are withholding the name of the judge,” it said.

The Wire and its partners said that they will also not be revealing the identity of any names that appear to be the subject of counter-terrorism.

Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya also raised objection to the alleged snooping and demanded for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe.

Speaking to the media outside Parliament, Bhattacharya said, “There should be an investigation. If necessary, a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) should be formed as phone tapping is done against the democracy of our country.”