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Pegasus controversy: MP seeks consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Home Secretary, NSO Group

The letter made mention of the government's evasive answers on Pegasus surveillance and contended that the competent authority to direct such interception is the Secretary of Home Affairs.  Tamil Nadu MP Thol Thirumaavalavan has written to Attorney General for India K.K. Venugopal seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the directors of Israeli firm NSO group as well as the current home secretary Ajay Bhalla and former home secretary Rajiv Gauba. The letter cites their involvement in “military-grade surveillance” against a Supreme Court judge, two Supreme Court registry officials, and a Supreme Court staffer who had made allegations of sexual harassment against then-Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.  A recent exposé by a consortium of 17 news outlets revealed that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was being used to (potentially) surveil politicians, lawyers, activists, and journalists among others. These revelations have major implications on the state of surveillance and privacy in India.  Thol Thirumaavalavan is the president of Viduthalai Ciruthaigal Katchi (VCK). He has sought permission to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt under Article 129 of the Constitution of India and the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Medianama tried to get in touch with Thirumaavalavan but his office refused to comment stating that the matter is sub-judice.  Details of the Letter  "The Rule of Law is the basic foundation of any democratic society. The judiciary is the guardian and protector of Rule of Law. The judiciary of India is not merely vested with the duty to resolve conflicts but also…

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