July 27, 2021 12:44:30 am
The phone number of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former personal assistant VK Jain is among those on a leaked global database, first accessed by French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, indicating people who were potentially targeted by Israeli spyware Pegasus, The Wire has reported.
Jain is a former IAS officer who worked in different departments in the Delhi government before retiring in late 2017. He was then hired as Kejriwal’s personal assistant and worked on projects in health, education, urban planning, among others.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday, Jain said, “I am not aware of any such thing. I am not very tech-friendly and keep away from social media. I heard that my number had also cropped up but I don’t know why. Nobody reached out to me to check my phone, and I have no idea why my number should be on this list,” he said.
The Delhi government did not comment on the matter.
According to The Wire, Jain’s number appeared on the list in 2018. This is when Delhi’s chief secretary at the time, Anshu Prakash, was allegedly assaulted by AAP MLAs at the CM’s residence, a charge denied by the MLAs and government officials. Jain was also present at the CM’s residence at the time and was made a witness in the case.
He resigned as Kejriwal’s aide within days of the incident.
Recently, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea by the Delhi Police against sharing copies of witness statements with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
The Delhi Police had filed an appeal against the Delhi High Court order in October last year in which it allowed Kejriwal and Sisodia to access statements of witnesses and audio-video recording of witness testimonies in the case.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, who appeared for the Delhi Police, argued that no such statement of Jain was recorded under Section 161 CrPC in February 2018 that could be shared with the accused.
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