Editors Guild of India unequivocally condemns the Attorney General’s comments before the Supreme Court pertaining to Rafale documents
The Editors Guild of India unequivocally condemns the Attorney General’s comments before the Supreme Court pertaining to documents based on which the media, including The Hindu, had reported on the Rafale deal.
Attorney General K.K.Venugopal on Wednesday sought dismissal of a petition for a review of the apex court’s earlier judgment, giving the government a clean chit, on the ground that the fresh petition had relied on documents that were “stolen” from the defence ministry and that investigations were going on to find out if it was a crime and violative of the Official Secrets Act.
Although the Attorney General later clarified that the investigation and contemplated action would not be initiated against journalists or lawyers who used these documents, the Guild is perturbed over such threats. These will intimidate the media in general and curb its freedom to report and comment on the Rafale deal in particular. Any attempt to use the Official Secrets Act against the media is as reprehensible as asking the journalists to disclose their sources.
The Guild denounces these threats and urges the government to refrain from initiating any action that might undermine the media’s freedom and independence.