IJU condemns move to invoke Official Secrets Act

HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI, Mar 8: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly condemned the threat of the Attorney General K K Venugopal to invoke the archaic and draconian Official Secrets Act, a relic of British colonial rule, against The Hindu for publishing an expose` on Rafale deal based on allegedly stolen documents.
In a statement issued on Friday, the IJU President and member of Press Council of India (PCI) Amar Devulapalli and Secretary General Sabina Inderjit the Attorney General’s warning in the Supreme Court was intended to brow beat the media and working journalists from bringing out skeletons from the cup boards of the government.
“We are appalled to note that such a statement came from the top most law officer in the country before a bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India. It is a frontal attack on the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. We demand that the Attorney General should retract his statement and respect the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution, which he was sworn to protect,” the IJU leaders.
The IJU welcomed the statement of N Ram that ‘no power on earth’ could force him and The Hindu from disclosing his source. “We congratulate N Ram and The Hindu for standing up to the power and upholding the highest traditions of independent ethical journalism. The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) pledges to stand by them and extend support in their endeavours to be the voice of the people and talk to power,” Amar and Sabina said.