Keshav said the ruling YSRC made a hue and cry on the alleged purchase of Pegasus spyware and theft of data by the TDP government and constituted the House Committee.
A day before his retirement, a bench led by him sought the Centre & Gujarat government’s response in a plea challenging remission granted to convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
After perusing the report submitted by former apex court Justice R V Raveendran, Chief Justice N V Ramana also noted that the Central government did not cooperate with the Pegasus probe.
The top court had ordered a probe into allegations of the use of Israeli spyware by government agencies for targeted surveillance of politicians, journalists, and activists.
It also noted that it appeared from the report submitted by the committee that the Government of India wasn’t cooperative.
Earlier, SC had asked the panel to expedite its investigation into the Pegasus row with the first deadline set for May 20, and then extending time till June 20 for submission of the final report.
The issue assumed political significance after NSO Group maintained that it sells products only to government intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
MLA Karunakar Reddy said the then government made a mockery of democracy by stealing data only to desist the then Opposition party from coming to power.
The House Committee members K Abbaiah Chowdary and M Jaganmohan Rao and officials from the Home and Information Technology departments attended the meeting held in the Assembly hall.
House Committee Chairman Bhumana Karunakar Reddy accused the previous government of collecting the data of people through the Smart Pulse Survey and misused it for its political interests.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the technical committee has been examining mobiles for the spyware and has also recorded statements of persons including some journalists.
Defence Minister Margarita Robles phone was also infected last year by software owned by the Israeli-based firm NSO, which is the target of numerous investigations worldwide.
The Spanish government has not denied nor confirmed whether it uses Pegasus or other hard-to-detect spyware, saying that any surveillance is conducted under the supervision of judges.
In a four-page reply, Rao said that he had informed the government that he would address the media on Pegasus issue as it was of public importance.
Giridhara Rao is one among the TDP MLAs, who extended support to the ruling YSRC.
The questionnaire can be filled online at https://pegasus-india-investigation.in/invitation-to-comment/ on or before March 31.
The form also seeks comments from the public on ways to strengthen the cyber security of the nation, and on what laws and safeguards should be put in place against surveillance by private entities.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh refuted allegations that the TDP government had purchased the spyware.
The Telugu Desam party denied assertions made by her on Wednesday that the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, had purchased the spyware during his tenure.
CPI general secretary D Raja said the government hid the truth on the issue from Parliament and they were now answerable.