New Delhi: The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has expressed shock and outrage at the reported threat of action against ‘The Hindu’ under the draconian Official Secrets Act.
The threat made in the Supreme Court by the Attorney General, who had appeared on behalf of the Government in the Rafale case hearing, is unconscionable and utterly unacceptable in a democracy, the apex body of the Print Media Industry said in a statement.
The Society has asked the government and political parties to come together and repeal the antediluvian law as it is sought to be used against the media for publishing unpalatable truths about the government.
This Act is a throwback to colonial times, when it was used to browbeat the Indian society and media.
This law has no place in a democracy where the freedom of the press to report on governance and administrative decisions is constitutionally protected. The protection extends to the confidentiality of sources, which is the cornerstone of journalistic ethics. These rights have been provided to citizens and to media by Article 19 of the Constitution.
Any suggestion by the government to invoke provisions of the Official Secrets Act against newspapers performing their professional duty will be stoutly resisted, the Society said.