Centre weakening 4 democracy pillars: Raut on Pegasus

Centre weakening 4 pillars of democracy: Sanjay Raut on Pegasus row

Raut expressed surprise that the Centre was not even paying heed to the SC's observation that the Pegasus case was serious

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. Credit: PTI Photo

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday accused the Modi government of weakening the four pillars of democracy through alleged snooping using Israeli spyware Pegasus.

Talking to reporters in Delhi, Raut expressed surprise that the central government was not even paying heed to the Supreme Court’s observation that the Pegasus case, if true, was a serious matter.

On Thursday, the apex court had said that allegations of Pegasus-related snooping are "serious in nature" if reports on them are correct. It also asked the petitioners seeking probe into the Israeli spyware matter whether they have made any efforts to file a criminal complaint on this.

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"The Centre is weakening the four pillars of democracy with Pegasus spyware. The opposition's demand for a debate on Pegasus is being rejected by the government. The Centre doesn't want to discuss this issue as well as that of the farmers’ agitation,” he said.

An international media consortium had earlier reported that several verified mobile phone numbers, including of two serving ministers, various journalists, some opposition leaders and a sitting judge besides scores of business persons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking through the Israeli spyware sold only to government agencies.

The government, however, dismissed allegations of any kind of surveillance on its part on specific people.

When asked about the Maratha reservation issue, Raut said, "Unless the 50 per cent cap on quota is relaxed, reservation to this community cannot be restored." I

n May this year, the Supreme Court had struck down the Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas in admissions and government jobs, terming it as "unconstitutional", and held there were no exceptional circumstances to breach the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the 1992 Mandal verdict.

Replying to another question, the Rajya Sabha member criticised Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not clearing the state cabinet's recommendation of appointing 12 members from his quota to the state Legislative Council. "By not approving the names, he is not adhering to the Constitution. It is an insult of the state legislature and the people of Maharashtra," Raut said.