In yet another missive to the West Bengal government, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday said he has been provided with “incomplete and selective” information about the formation of an inquiry panel for probe into the Pegasus snooping scandal. The governor asked Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi to make available by 5 pm on December 18 the entire record that led to issuance of a notification for panel formation.
This was the second letter by Dhankhar to the chief secretary. He had on December 15 expressed dismay over Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi’s alleged non-acknowledgement of the one that he wrote seeking details of the committee formed by the government, and stated that it was indicative of a “grave governance situation”. Dhankhar had then called upon Dwivedi to make the notification vide which the state government constituted a commission of inquiry available to him by Thursday evening.
On Friday, Dhankhar said “in essence no details as sought have been made available except forwarding the notification dated July 26, 2021”. “What was sought was available record and the same ought to have been made available to the constitutional head,” Dhankhar wrote. The governor also said that he did not appreciate “incomplete and selective” information.
“This incomplete and selective input is not bona fide and not appreciated. In categorical terms it was indicated both on December 6 and December 15 that all connected proceedings in this behalf resulting in issuance of the notification be made available.
“In the matter there has just been no communication to me from the government. No documentation, prior or Post notification dated July 26 was ever made available for my consideration or perusal. Obviously and rationally how there could, in such a situation, be formation of any opinion at my end (sic),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, during the day, stayed the ongoing inquiry into allegations of spying by the state government-appointed commission headed by former apex court judge M B Lokur. Former Calcutta High Court chief justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya is the other member of the commission of inquiry announced by the West Bengal government recently.
The apex court had on October 27 appointed a three-member panel of cyber experts to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of certain people in India, saying every citizen needs protection against privacy violation and mere invocation of national security by the state does not render the court a mute spectator.