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UIDAI case: Media bodies slam ‘attack on freedom of press’

January 8, 2018 9:58 am Category: BATH CHEETH, SLIDER NEWS A+ / A-

bombay cj on journalistNEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s lodging of an FIR naming the Tribune
in which news about the breach in the system was printed, and also the reporter who had filed the
story, drew strong reactions from journalists’ bodies, which condemned it as an “attack on the freedom
of the press”.

A statement issued by the Editors Guild said, “The Guild condemns UIDAI’s action to have the Tribune reporter
booked by the police as it is clearly meant to browbeat a journalist whose investigation on the
matter was of great public interest. It is unfair, unjustified and a direct attack on the freedom
of the press.”

The statement, which gives details of the charges under which the reporter, Rachna Khaira, was booked –
IPC sections 419 (punishment for cheating under impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery), 471
(using a forged document) and under sections of the IT Act and the Aadhar Act – asks the union ministry
to withdraw the cases against her, and “conduct an impartial investigation into the matter.”

The Press Club of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps, and Press Association too strongly objected and
condemned the FIR registration. “Rather than addressing the loopholes which would actually ensure
safety and security of the data and allay the general concerns about this, the UIDAI has chosen to
persecute those whose actions appear to have been only in public interest,” read a statement issued by
the journalist’s bodies collectively.
Criticising the FIR as “intimidation, obstructionist and inimical to the pursuit of free, fair and
independent journalism”, the statement asked for a withdrawal of the complaint against the reporter. A
statement by the Foundation for Media Professionals, while referring to the FIR as an “assault on free
speech”, said, “By allowing such FIRs to be registered, the government is clearly signaling that the
functioning of UIDAI, however controversial, is out of bounds for journalists and another whistle-
blowers.”

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UIDAI case: Media bodies slam ‘attack on freedom of press’ Reviewed by on . NEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)'s lodging of an FIR naming the Tribune in which news about the breach in the system was printed, NEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)'s lodging of an FIR naming the Tribune in which news about the breach in the system was printed, Rating: 0
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