First Government response: No defence ministry dealings with Pegasus-developer NSO
The first response from the government says that the defence ministry has not had any transactions with Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group Technologies.
In the first-ever response from the Narendra Modi government on the Pegasus scandal, the defence ministry has not had any transaction with NSO Group Technologies.
In a written response to a query posed by Rajya Sabha Member from Kerala V Sivadasan, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt put an end to days of speculation by the Opposition over the Pegasus scandal.
The written response says that the defence ministry has not had any transactions with Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group Technologies.
The Opposition has been stalling Parliament since it commenced its business on July 19 in the wake of alleged snooping by Pegasus spyware on ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, judges and businessmen.
Just a day ahead of the Parliament's Monsoon Session, an international media consortium had revealed that over 50,000 phone numbers were targeted by spyware worldwide. Out of this, 300 belonged to Indian ministers, opposition leaders, journalists, judges among others.
A petition on the Pegasus scandal is being heard by the Supreme Court. In its observations, the Apex court described the allegations of surveillance as serious. However, the court did not issue any notice to the Centre. The court will hear the matter again on August 10.