Congress' Shaktisinh Gohil gives suspension of business notice in Rajya Sabha for discussion over Pegasus Project

NEW DELHI: Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil on Tuesday gave a ‘suspension of business’ notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha to have a discussion on the Pegasus Project in the presence of the Prime Minister or Home Minister.

In the notice, Gohil has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored enquiry in the matter and said, “…to have a discussion in the presence of the Prime Minister or Home Minister on the Pegasus snooping, spying and surveillance scandal that has undermined our democracy and Constitutional rights and to have a Supreme Court-monitored enquiry announced immediately.”

The names of several Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to reports published in The Wire.

The Congress MP further said that things are “very serious” as the sensational revelations on surveillance of many public personalities and hacking of their phones by a foreign company in “total violation of their Constitutional rights by an Israeli company that sells such destructive software only to governments”.

Pointing that media reports also noted two serving colonels who challenged official policy, a retired intelligence officer who took RAW to court, and two serving BSF officers also figure in the Pegasus Project database as persons of interest for an unidentified agency, he said: “It is a questioning of national security.”

Meanwhile, following several adjournments of Rajya Sabha on Monday amid vociferous protests by the opposition over their demands, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that he had reached out to the opposition parties over the stalemate but “there is no consensus among them”.

The Upper House saw five adjournments as the government sought to push its legislative agenda.

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 without discussion as opposition continued its protests on various issues despite the chair urging it to take part in the debate on the legislation.