BEA demands immediate withdrawal of FIR against Tribune reporter
FIR a vicious assault on free speech : BEA…. The Broadcast Editors Association Sunday condemned the FIR against the Tribune reporter, who broke the story about Aadhaar data leaks, as an attack on free speech. In a statement, the BEA demanded immediate withdrawal of the police case against journalist Rachna Khaira, who has been charged under various sections of the IPC, including forgery and cheating.
“Such FIRs against journalists exposing systemic flaws is a spiteful kick in the teeth of Indian democracy and the right to free speech and expression,” BEA said. “The FIR against The Tribune’s Rachna Khaira must be withdrawn immediately,” the BEA demanded.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is rather expected to take media investigations into data leaks positively. With the Supreme Court declaring privacy a fundamental right, measures must be strengthened to protect Aadhaar data. “Shooting the messenger is no solution. It’s a toxic trend, which must stop forthwith,” the BEA noted.
Press Club of Jammu condemns FIR against Tribune reporter
Jammu : Strongly condemning registration of FIR against reporter of The Tribune reporter for exposing loopholes in the system through investigating reporting, Press Club of Jammu (PCJ) called this decision as an attempt to gag the media.
In a statement issued here, Ashwani Kumar , President, Press Club of Jammu strongly condemned the action of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for lodging an FIR against Tribune reporter over story on Aadhar data breach.
“Instead of plugging loopholes and taking action against the real culprits involved in leaking data, the government agencies, unfortunately, lodged FIR against reporter, who exposes the loopholes in the system”, the statement issued by president PCJ Ashwani Kumar mentioned.
“UIDAI’s action to have the Tribune reporter booked by the police as it is clearly meant to browbeat a journalist whose investigation on the matter was of great public interest”, Ashwani Kumar said and termed the action as a direct attack on the freedom of the press.
The Tribune report had claimed that it took just Rs 500 and 10 minutes for the newspaper to get an access through an “agent” to every detail of any individual submitted to the UIDAI, including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email.
An FIR under Indian Penal Code Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) has filed against The Tribune reporter Rachna Khaira.
Zorawar Singh Jamwal
Press Club of Jammu