BENGALURU: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has referred to the State Government the Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s complaint to investigate alleged spying and surveillance through Pegasus spyware, stating that police and public order are state subjects.
Siddaramaiah, on July 22, had petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind through Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot seeking a judicial inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge on “illegal” spying through Pegasus.
“Since police and public order are state subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the concerned state government to prevent, detect, register and investigate crime and prosecute the criminals involved through the machinery of its own law enforcement agencies, and hence, you may take action on the representation, as deemed appropriate,” the MHA stated.
Siddu may raise objection to MHA’s letter
Sources close to Siddaramaiah said he may raise an objection to the letter as the matter pertains to ‘Centre and state subject’, which only the Centre can address. Siddaramaiah wrote that the Israeli company NSO that manages Pegasus works on paid contracts.
“Questions arise as to who paid them for the Indian Operation. If it is not the Government of India, then who is it,” Siddaramaiah wrote in his letter to the President. Quoting media reports, he said that since 2019, more particularly in June and July of that year, he, then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwar, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and other politicians’ numbers were spied upon and kept under surveillance by tapping the phones of these leaders and their personal staff.