Freedom of the “Censored” Press?

Even though, some people might have adapted to the opinion that the news is becoming stale, it seems as if the Government and the executive authorities are continuously making endeavors to make it more and more difficult for the media to exercise their freedom of press to their full potential.

This statement can be made after the recent news of the registration of an FIR against the Tribune, for publishing stories against the possible leak of the details of Aadhar, on whatsapp.

Ms Rachna Khaira, a daily news analyst had published a report stating that it merely took Rs. 500-Rs 1000 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. Following the report, a furor was created on the different social media platforms, wherein the UIDAI had been subjected to a high amount of criticism.

Subsequently, an unnamed deputy director filed an FIR against the writer along with other involved personnel including Mr. Anil Kumar, Mr. Sunil Kumar and Mr. Raj, under Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 36/37 of the Aadhaar Act, which was also confirmed by the police authorities.

It is needless to mention that this is not the first FIR that might have been registered against a journalist or a new publishing agency. Therefore, the question that arises is whether there can even be the slightest of claims suggesting the presence of the freedom of press in India.

While the UIDAI went on to claim that the data, submitted under Aadhar is completely safe and not prone to leaks of any kind whatsover, it has still registered the Report stating that the Tribune has attempted to illegally access the data, by way of an agent.

Hence, there remains a confusion as to whether the UIDAI is unsure about the data that it has obtained or is it just another breach by the executive authorities into the fundamental rights, that have been apparently safeguarded by the Constitution of India.


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