New Delhi : During a speech to MBA students at the Cambridge Judge Business School in the UK, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the Indian government of using the Pegasus spyware to monitor opposition politicians. He claimed that “intelligence officers” had warned him that his phone calls were being recorded. He also said that Indian democracy was under attack and that opposition leaders were facing criminal liability cases for “things that should under no circumstances be criminal liable cases.”
Gandhi’s accusations are part of an ongoing controversy over the use of Pegasus by governments around the world. Last year, a Supreme Court-appointed committee was set up to investigate allegations that the Indian government had used Pegasus to spy on politicians and other public figures. While the committee found evidence of malware on five of the 29 phones examined, it could not definitively say that Pegasus had been used.
During his speech, Gandhi warned that the “institutional framework” required for democracy in India – including parliament, a free press, and an independent judiciary – was being constrained. He argued that opposition leaders were facing an attack on the “basic structure” of Indian democracy.
Gandhi’s accusations come amid rising political tensions in India, with opposition leaders accusing the ruling BJP of suppressing dissent and curbing civil liberties. The use of Pegasus to monitor political opponents would only exacerbate these concerns.
It remains to be seen whether Gandhi’s claims will be taken seriously by the Indian government or whether they will lead to further investigations into the use of Pegasus. However, his comments have once again shone a light on the growing controversy over the use of spyware by governments around the world.