Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday slammed the Centre for allegedly attempting to silence the media through ‘unconstitutional means’. The statement comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government told the Supreme Court that certain documents related to Rafale fighter jets deal that have appeared in the media were stolen from the Defence Ministry.
Naidu slammed the Centre for threatening to file cases against ‘The Hindu’ newspaper and N Ram, the Chairman of the publishing group under the Official Secrets Act. He regarded this act as a serious threat to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution.
The TDP leader also tweeted on Thursday, “After misguiding SC, misleading the nation, destroying all vital Institutions of the country, Modi govt’s threat to file cases under Official Secrets Act against The Hindu & Mr. N. Ram is a serious threat to freedom of speech & expression guaranteed by the constitution of India.”
On Wednesday, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the Rafale deal documents were stolen from the government and those publishing them were guilty under the Official Secrets Act. However, N Ram was quoted by PTI as saying, “We have not stolen anything. We got it from confidential sources and we are committed to protecting these sources. Nobody is going to get any information from us on these sources. But the documents speak for themselves and the stories speak for themselves.”
(With Agency inputs)