Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (File Pic)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (File Pic)

Centre trying to silence Press through unconstitutional means: Chandrababu Naidu

ANI | Updated: Mar 07, 2019 12:17 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 7 (ANI): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday accused the Central government of 'trying to silence the press through unconstitutional means'.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Naidu wrote, "Instead of coming clean on alleged irregularities of Rafale deal brought out by The Hindu and Mr N. Ram, the Modi government is trying to silence the press through unconstitutional means by creating a climate of fear. It signals an imminent possibility of the breakdown of democracy."
In a consecutive tweet, he further termed the proposed invoking of the Officials Secret Act against the journalist as a threat to the freedom of speech and expression.
"After misguiding SC, misleading the nation, destroying all vital Institutions of the country, Modi government's threat to file cases under Official Secrets Act against The Hindu and Mr. N. Ram is a serious threat to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the constitution of India," wrote Naidu.
The Centre had told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that certain documents pertaining to the Rafale deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry.
During the hearing, Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal in his submission had said that note files were stolen and two of the national dailies had published it.
"We are dealing with defence purchases which involve the security of the state. It is a very sensitive case," he said.
However, according to media reports, Attorney General K K Venugopal later said that the Government does not intend to take action against the journalists.
Venugopal had made the submission during the hearing on review petitions filed by various parties against its December 14, 2018, judgment in which it had refused to order a probe into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter planes from France.
The apex court had last month allowed for an open court hearing of the Rafale review petitions. (ANI)