Mamata Banerjee forms inquiry panel to probe Pegasus scandal, says ‘Centre is sitting idle’

The decision to form a panel, with retired judges as its members, was taken at a special cabinet meeting chaired by the West Bengal chief minister during the day.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | File photo: ANI
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | ANI

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government has formed a two-member inquiry commission to look into allegations of snooping on politicians, officials and journalists using Israeli spyware Pegasus.

The decision to form a panel, with retired judges as its members, was taken at a special cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister during the day.

“We thought the Centre would form an inquiry commission or a court-monitored probe would be ordered to look into this phone-hacking incident. But the Centre is sitting idle… So we decided to form a commission on inquiry’ to look into the matter,” she said at a press conference here.

The two-member commission will be headed by former Calcutta High court Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya. Former Supreme Court judge Madan Bhimrao Lokur is its other member.

“Names of people from West Bengal have figured on the Pegasus target list. The Centre is trying to snoop on everyone. The commission will find out details about this illegal hacking,” the CM added.

A massive political row erupted in the country and other parts of the globe after media reports claimed that the Pegasus spyware was used to infiltrate phones and conduct surveillance on political leaders, government officials and journalists.


Also read: Pegasus spyware scandal worse than Watergate, people should protest against it, says Mamata