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How can there be parallel probe: SC stays Bengal panel inquiry into Pegasus case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the state appointed commission led by former top court judge Madan B. Lokur, to conduct an inquiry into the Pegasus snooping allegations.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana also issued notice to the West Bengal government on a plea, which questioned the commission. The bench remarked, “How can there be a parallel probe?”

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner NGO ‘Global Village Foundation Charitable Trust’, submitted before the bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli that the petitioner is challenging the proceedings of the West Bengal commission.

The bench queried senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the West Bengal government, what happened to the oral undertaking given by him that the state would not proceed with the matter.

The bench said: “Mr Singhvi, what is this? Last time you gave the undertaking. We wanted to record, you said don’t record. Again, you started the inquiry?”

Singhvi replied that the state government cannot control the commission and asked the court to call their counsel and pass orders. “As a state, I can’t restrain the commission,” Singhvi submitted.

The bench said: “We understand the state’s predicament. Issue notice to all parties. We stay proceedings.”

On October 27, the top court had constituted an independent committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice R.V. Raveendran to probe into the Pegasus allegations. — IANS

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