Ranchi: Senior Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahai termed the Supreme Court directive appointing a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance as a “giant step” and expressed confidence that truth would come out.

Mr Sahay said that the Supreme Court has set up a three-member expert committee, to be supervised by a retired judge of the court, Justice RV Raveendran, to investigate whether the Centre or any state government acquired and used Israel spyware Pegasus for surveillance of Indian citizens. 

The Supreme Court asserted that " in a democratic country governed by the rule of law, indiscriminate spying on individuals cannot be allowed except with sufficient statutory safeguards, by following the procedure established by law under the Constitution. The top court held that the Union government cannot get " a free pass every time " by raising the spectre of " national security " when the issues concern the " potential chilling effect " on right to privacy and freedom of speech.

The Committee shall ascertain whether the Centre or any state government acquired Pegasus and used it on the phone or other devices of the citizens of the country to access stored data and other information. If the spyware was indeed used, the court said, the Committee shall determine how and by whom such interceptions were authorised and the details of the victims of spyware attack. 

Mr. Subodh Kant while speaking on the issue of political accountability said that the Central government is not an event management company, but is a welfare state where there should be political accountability. He also stressed on the need to see our Foreign policy through a different lens.

Mr. Sahai said “The governments reputation and commitment to the rule of law have been undermined by its refusal to fire Mishra or even voice worry about the Lakhimpur fallout.” Despite the horrific violence in his constituency of Lakhimpur Kheri, where a convoy linked with the minister is shown on video mowing down protesters, Ajay Mishra, the Union Minister of state for home, is still in office. Mishra is a two-term Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradeshs Lakhimpur Kheri district, where he is known as a local strongman. Even a brief look at his resume reveals a tumultuous past: hes been accused of violence, intimidation, and even murder. Rather than expressing regret, the minister has opted to brazen it out while supporting his son, who has been arrested for his apparent involvement in the crime. 

Mr Sahai further said that the fact that a politician facing a murder prosecution is Minister of the Home reveals the present political dispensations fundamental rot.

The Union government has alternated between quiet and empty rhetoric as the opposition seeks presidential intervention and farm groups organise rallies. This simply serves to highlight the moral decay of a society in which political accountability and morality have become a matter of convenience rather than conviction.

Foreign policy, according to Mr. Sahai, has generally been thought to address challenges that extend beyond our boundaries. The term "external" was used. It meant that the attention was on what happened on the outside, with little bearing on what transpired on the inside. Internal issues should be addressed in our policy. As a result, international policy could be handled in a different way.