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Updated on: Monday, July 26, 2021, 12:21 AM IST

Chhole Bhature in Mann ki Baat but Oppn wants Snoop talk in Parliament

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A Chandigarh hawker had created quite a buzz online for offering free ‘chhole bhature’ to anyone who got vaccinated against Covid-19. He also caught PM Modi’s attention. The PM especially mentioned Sanjay Rana, from Chandigarh’s Sector 29, for his thoughtful act...

-- However, the Opposition was not amused, as Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said the government should either call for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations or request the Supreme Court to appoint a sitting judge to investigate the matter, and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament clarifying whether there had been surveillance or not.

-- The former home minister said he was not sure that one can go to the extent of saying that the entire electoral mandate of 2019 was vitiated by the "unlawful snooping" but added that it may have "helped" the BJP to score that victory which has been "tainted" by the allegations.

-- In an interview with PTI, Chidambaram said a probe by a joint parliamentary committee can be mo­re effective than an investigation by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, asserting the former would be more empowered by Parliament.

RS MP moves SC seeking court-monitored probe

Rajya Sabha member John Brittas has moved the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into reports of alleged snooping of activists, politicians, journalists and constitutional functionaries using Israeli spyware Pegasus. A massive political row has erupted after media reports claimed that Pegasus spyware was used to conduct surveillance on about 300 Indians, including ministers, political leaders, government officials and journalists.

Brittas, who has filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court, said that recent allegations of snooping has caused concern among a large section of people in India and that snooping would have a chilling effect on free speech and expression. He has sought a court-monitored investigation into allegations of snooping using Pegasus spyware.

In a statement on Sunday, Brittas, who is a CPI-M member, said that despite the very serious nature, the central government has not cared to investigate into the allegations involved in the issue but "made only a hopeful hope that the time tested processes in our country are well-established to ensure that unauthorised surveillance does not occur".

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Published on: Monday, July 26, 2021, 12:21 AM IST
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