Pegasus row: Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes to Speaker Om Birla, demands to initiate privilege motion against Minister of IT for deliberately misleading House

Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday wrote to Speaker Om Birla and demanded that a privilege motion may be initiated against Minister of Information Technology for deliberately misleading the House on Pegasus issue.”

In a letter to speaker Om Birla, Adhir Ranjan said, “The New York Times on Friday, the 28 January, reported that the Indian Government bought the Israeli spyware in 2017 as part of a 2-billion-dollar package for weapons.

The Pegasus issue had rocked the monsoon session of the Parliament last year with the opposition parties demanding a discussion on the scandal that the Government was targeting political leaders, journalists, Judges and civil society activists using the spyware.

The Government, on the floor of the House, always maintained that it had nothing to do with the Pegasus Spyware and it never bought the spyware from the NSO Group. The Modi Government also lied to the Supreme Court when it was directly questioned about the purchase and deployment of Pegasus. In a sworn affidavit, the Government said unequivocally, we deny any and all of the allegations against the Government on the Pegasus issue.

In light of the latest revelations by New York Times, it appears that the Modi Government has misled the Parliament and the Supreme Court and lied to the people of India.

“In view of the above, I demand that a Privilege Motion may be initiated against the

Minister of Information Technology for deliberately misleading the House on the Pegasus issue,” Ranjan concluded.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day lawyer ML Sharma has moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to register FIR and probe the Pegasus matter. The petition said the alleged India-Israel deal was not approved by Parliament and, therefore, needs to be cancelled and money is recovered.

The petitioner urged the apex court to also issue directions to investigate alleged misuse of public funds in the interest of justice and prosecution of concerned persons.

Sharma, the lead petitioner in the original case, filed an application has also sought recovery of money paid for the deal.