“No Prima Facie Evidence Of Snooping”: Ravi Shankar Prasad On Pegasus Allegations

The opposition has not presented any proof that Pegasus spyware was used to tap into the phone numbers, the former Union Minister said.

Questioning the opposition on the issue of Pegasus related surveillance and snooping allegations, former Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said there was no evidence that was being presented to support their claims.

“There is no prima facie evidence. Just before the onset of the parliamentary session a campaign orchestrated by many of the elements hostile to present government comes out,” Mr Prasad said.

The opposition has not presented any proof that Pegasus spyware was used to tap into the phone numbers that were alleged to have been targeted by recent revelations, the senior BJP leader added.

“We are ready for a discussion in Parliament. When the Minister made a statement on the issue, these people tore it in front of him. These people are not serious,” the former union minister said.

300 Indian numbers have appeared on the list, including that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, political strategist Prashant Kishor, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s MP nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

The centre has rejected the allegations by the opposition that the former used this spyware to snoop upon journalists, politicians and others.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the report was “by disrupters for obstructers”.

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in his statement in the Parliament earlier, said such level of snooping by government wasn’t possible.

He added the snooping allegations report had appeared a day before the monsoon session — this was not a coincidence. They had appeared earlier as well and had been refuted. And India had “robust” systems to prevent illegal surveillance, he said.

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