An aide of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and an Enforcement Directorate officer involved in high profile investigations have been revealed as potential targets on the leaked database of Israeli company NSO's Pegasus spyware, The Wire has reported in the latest revelations in the "snooping" scandal.
Two phone numbers of Rajeshwar Singh, a senior Enforcement Directorate officer, and four numbers of three women in his family were on the database accessed by French non-profit Forbidden Stories and shared with The Wire, Washington Post and other media houses involved in the Pegasus investigation.
VK Jain, a former IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer who worked as a personal assistant to Arvind Kejriwal, was also marked as a "person of interest". Mr Kejriwal's aide VK Jain's phone number appears in the leaked records in 2018.
The leaked records have numbers of at least one official each from the Prime Minister's Office and NITI Aayog. The official from the PMO was in charge of PM Modi's tours in 2017 when the Indian client of the NSO Group showed interest in him, says The Wire.
Rajeshwar Singh, an Uttar Pradesh officer, has been with the Enforcement Directorate since 2009.
Mr Singh was involved in sensitive investigations ranging from the 2G spectrum scam to the Aircel-Maxis case in which former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram are among the accused. He is listed as a target from late 2017 to mid-2019.
One of the numbers linked to him fund on the database was that of his sister Abha Singh, an IAS officer-turned-lawyer based in Mumbai. The Wire said Abha Singh, who has handled prominent cases in the Bombay High Court, agreed to have her mobile phone forensically analysed but it was inconclusive.
She was quoted as telling The Wire that she had used that phone between 2018 and 2019 and had handed it over to her son.
Over the past few days, the media consortium that participated in the "Pegasus project" has revealed that the numbers of opposition politicians including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, two union ministers, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee and some 40 journalists were selected as potential targets of snooping.
The NSO's Pegasus spyware is sold only to "vetted" governments for the purpose of fighting terrorism and serious crimes.
The government has denied any role in snooping. There is no substance to the reports of spying, said new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in parliament last Monday, hours before he was revealed to be one of the potential targets.