To probe the Pegasus phone-hacking scandal in the state, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday decided to set up a panel headed by retired judges Justice MV Lokur and Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya. Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, her nephew appeared on a list of potential surveillance targets using the Israeli-made spyware.
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.
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.
With PTI inputs