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SC issues notice to states on raising 50% quota cap

SC issues notice to all states on whether 50 per cent cap on quotas can be exceeded in the backdrop of Maratha reservation.
The Economic Times
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| 08 March, 2021, 05:25 PM IST | E-Paper
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      Home minister Anil Deshmukh said the government has ordered an inquiry after it received complaints that several top senior Opposition leaders’ phones were tapped in the past year. The phone tapping/snooping was done before the parliamentary and assembly polls in the state by the erstwhile BJP government to snoop on rivals, Deshmukh said.

      “The cyber cell of the Maharashtra police has been asked to look into complaints from different quarters on the phone tapping/snooping," home minister Anil Deshmukh told. However, the Centre chose NIA to pursue the Bhima-Koregaon case, where activists and lawyers have been charged with sedition and left-wing extremism.

      According to reports over 120 Indians, including human right activists and other critics of the government, have been targeted as part of the snooping. At the Times Network's India Economic Conclave, the telecom minister was asked whether the government actually outsources interceptions to cos like Pegasus. "We don't," was Prasad's quick answer on the question.

      Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel seeks a probe into illegal surveillance in the state affairs through Israeli spyware Pegasus that was earlier reported to be snooping on people by enabling a jailbreak system on their devices. A three-member committee is summoned to investigate further into the matter.

      A source said that Tharoor’s letter advised members to furnish comments on his statements within 24 hours and if nothing was heard by Wednesday evening, it would be taken that they approved his proposal that the committee take up the snooping issue at its November 20 meeting, it said.

      Earlier in January 2006, then politician Amar Singh had moved the Supreme Court crying foul that his telephones were being snooped upon by government agencies. The SC barred the media from publishing any leaks from the so-called telephone intercepts yet no one felt threatened by the then government’s action to snoop on a politician’s telephone.

      Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Thursday said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli spyware Pegasus.

      As Facebook-owned WhatsApp sued Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group this week that exploited its video calling system to snoop on 1,400 selected users globally, details emerged on Thursday that there were "insignificant number" of Indian human rights activists and journalists among those who were targeted.

      "Modi Govt caught snooping! Appalling but not Surprising! After all, BJP Govt- 1. Fought against our right to privacy. 2. Set up a multi crore Surveillance Structure until stopped by SC. SC must take immediate cognisance and issue notice to BJP government," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.

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