New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Communications Ministry on Friday informed Parliament that the government was not aware of any unlawful interception of any message of any individual.
Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan replied “No” to questions in Rajya Sabha, asking “whether Government is aware of any ‘unlawful learning of the contents of any message’” and “whether the government is aware of any authorised official unlawfully intercepting any message.”
To another question on whether reasons are invariably recorded in writing and orders taken from the competent authorities before intercepting any message under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, Chauhan, in a written reply, stated that the orders for interception under the said section are issued with the approval of the “competent authority” as per sub-rules and rules.
“As per sub-rule (2) of these Rules, these orders contain the reasons for such direction,” Chauhan added.
In October, the Supreme Court directed a panel of experts to investigate whether the government used military-grade private Israeli Pegasus spyware to surveil opposition leaders, activists, tycoons, judges and journalists.