Editors Guild Condemns Attorney General's Comments Against Media During Rafale Hearing

Editors Guild Condemns Attorney General

The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement condemning the comments of Attorney General K K Venugopal before the Supreme Court regarding the publications made by newspapers such as The Hindu about the documents in Rafale deal.

The AG had submitted during the hearing of review petitions in Rafale that newspapers cited "stolen" documents from the Ministry and that the Government was considering criminal prosecution against them for violating Official Secrets Act. The AG was referring to the series of articles published by N Ram in The Hindu and few other media questioning the government version on Rafale deal.

In the context of these comments the Guild has commented :

"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 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", concluded the statement.